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Preconception, pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care

Care during childbirth

This section includes RHL summaries of published systematic reviews on various aspects of pregnancy and childbirth, including preconception care, management of miscarriage, antenatal care, medical problems in pregnancy, disorders that might affect the unborn baby, complications arising during pregnancy, the induction of labour, and the care of the mother and newborn during and immediately after childbirth.
Assistant nurse prepares surgical instruments before a c-section surgery.

WHO recommendation on vaginal cleansing with povidone-iodine immediately before caesarean section

Care during labour - 1st stage

Two health workers prepare a woman for delivery in a delivery room, Niger.

WHO recommendation on digital vaginal examination at intervals of four hours for routine assessment of active first stage of labour in low-risk women

Drawing showing manual removal of the placenta.

WHO recommendation on routine antibiotic prophylaxis for women undergoing manual removal of the placenta

Nepal. In a health care facility, a pregnant woman sits in a bed.

WHO recommendation against routine perineal/pubic shaving prior to giving vaginal birth

Babies with specific conditions during labour

Pregnant woman drinking water while lying in a hospital bed.

Antibiotics for meconium-stained amniotic fluid in labour for preventing maternal and neonatal infections

Mother sitting in hospital bed, watching new born baby. India

Amnioinfusion for meconium-stained liquor in labour

Abnormal presentations and positions of the baby

External cephalic version

Interventions for helping to turn term breech babies to head first presentation when using external cephalic version

Care during labour - 2nd stage

Pregnant woman being monitored by electronic fetal monitor in hospital

Fetal intrapartum pulse oximetry for fetal assessment in labour

Woman on delivery table receives fundal pressure

Fundal pressure during the second stage of labour

Rapid versus stepwise negative pressure application for vacuum extraction-assisted vaginal delivery

Perineal trauma

A surgeon from Mozambique performs a repair for the surgical treatment of obstetric fistula.

Methods of repair for obstetric anal sphincter injury

Newborn baby who has just been delivered is handed to his mother by the hospital midwife.

Antibiotic prophylaxis for third- and fourth-degree perineal tear during vaginal birth

Medio lateral episiotomy graphic

Absorbable suture materials for primary repair of episiotomy and second degree tears

Caesarean section

Vial line up

Different classes of antibiotics given to women routinely for preventing infection at caesarean section

Medical practitioners perform a caesarean section.

Closure versus non-closure of the peritoneum at caesarean section

A medical team performs a caesarean section delivery, Uganda

Antibiotic prophylaxis versus no prophylaxis for preventing infection after caesarean section

Care during labour - 3rd stage

Preparing an umbilical vein injection

Umbilical vein injection for the routine management of third stage of labour

WHO recommendation on the use of uterine packing for the treatment of postpartum haemorrhage

WHO recommendation on cord traction for the removal of the placenta in caesarean section