Muller Journal of Medical Sciences and Research

: 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 112--113

Offering customized and supportive care to ensure positive childbirth experience: World health organization

Saurabh RambihariLal Shrivastava1, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava2,  
1 Vice Principal Curriculum, Department of Community Medicine, Member of the Medical Education Unit & Medical Research Unit, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RambihariLal Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Offering customized and supportive care to ensure positive childbirth experience: World health organization.Muller J Med Sci Res 2018;9:112-113

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Offering customized and supportive care to ensure positive childbirth experience: World health organization. Muller J Med Sci Res [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 May 26 ];9:112-113
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Full Text

Dear Editor,

The process of childbirth is a physiological one that often ends without any complications for a large proportion of women and children.[1] The global estimates suggest that each year, in excess of 140 million births occur.[1] However, it has been shown that a significant number of healthy pregnant women are subjected to at least one or more unnecessary interventions during labor (like oxytocin infusion to expedite the process) and childbirth (resorting to cesarean sections instead of normal vaginal delivery).[1],[2]

The ultimate aim of a childbirth process is to ensure that women should give birth in a safe environment, in the presence of a skilled birth attendant in well-resourced health-care facilities.[1] However, amid the rising trends of interventions in a normal childbirth process, the birth experiences of a woman have taken a serious toll.[3] It is very important to understand by the medical fraternity that each labor is distinct and progresses at variable rates, especially in the first stage of labor.[1] As a matter of fact, women in labor have been subjected to disrespect and poor care, which is a serious violation of human rights and even acts as a major hindrance for women to avail health care during childbirth.[1],[3]

Moreover, from the developing nations, perspective, unnecessary interventions cast a major burden on the scarce resources and further broaden the equity gap.[1] In order to deal with the problem of needless medical interventions, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released a set of recommendations to set up global care standards for healthy pregnant women.[1] It envisages about the significance of the delivery of women-centered care through a comprehensive and human rights-based approach.[1],[3] These recommendations include provision about what is needed during the course of labor and for women and her child after birth, such as a birth companion of their preference, quality assured care and respectful communication between women and health professionals, maintenance of privacy and confidentiality, and giving the freedom to women to take a decision about their pain, positioning, choice of delivery method, etc.[1],[3],[4]

In fact, even under the circumstances, in which a medical intervention is necessary, the women should be involved in taking the decision, so that the overall childbirth experience remains positive and the women have a feeling of personal achievement.[2],[3] Further, it has been advocated that mere slow dilatation of the cervix should not be considered as the indicator for expedition of labor.[1] It is of immense importance that all health-care providers, irrespective of being from government or private sector, should adhere to the recommendations and play their part in improving the birth experience of the women.[1],[2],[3]

The need of the hour is that these proposed measures should reach the general population and it requires extensive advocacy, communication, and social mobilization (ACSM) activities.[3] Different nations can adopt appropriate model of care as well as ACSM strategies based on their local contexts and the individual woman.[3] Further, to monitor the implementation and impact of these recommendations at the primary health care or regional or national levels, the WHO has released lists of prioritized input, output, and outcome measures, which can be employed to assess the quality of care and proposed indices.[1],[3] In addition, clinical audits or criterion-based audits can also be used to assess the extent of implementation of practices (including ACSM activities).[1],[3]

To conclude, in the global mission to ensure accomplishment of the best possible physical, emotional, and mental outcomes for the woman and her baby, there is an immense need to establish a framework of care in which women are empowered by the health-care delivery system.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1World Health Organization. Individualized, Supportive Care Key to Positive Childbirth Experience, Says World Health Organization; 2018. Available from: [Last accessed on 2018 Apr 27].
2Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. To perform or not to perform caesarean section: A controversial decision. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2015;8:224-5.
3World Health Organization. World Health Organization Recommendations: Intrapartum Care for a Positive Childbirth Experience. Geneva: World Health Organization Press; 2018. p. 1-26.
4Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Childbirth rights for pregnant women: Success for Poland and inspiration for other nations. Int J Prev Med 2017;8:42.