The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) “Care in Normal Birth: A Practical Guide”  is a technical report that, “identifies the most common practices used throughout labour and attempts to establish some norms of good practice for the conduct of non-complicated labour and delivery. The report addresses issues of care in normal birth irrespective of the setting or level of care. Its recommendations on those interventions which are or should be used to support the processes of normal birth are neither country nor region specific.” This report presents WHO’s definition of normal birth and provides thorough, evidence-based reviews of common interventions.

The International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative’s (IMBCI) 10 Steps to Optimal MotherBaby Maternity Services acknowledges the great variety in resources and access to care around the world. The IMBCI emphasises that the unnecessary overuse of perinatal interventions has resulted in a massive increase in healthcare costs, straining resources without necessarily improving birth outcomes. In this guideline, the IMBCI discusses the following challenges of the 21st century:

-Increasing women’s access to skilled caregivers and emergency care while decreasing the overuse of unnecessary medical interventions

-Increasing understanding of normal birth and breastfeeding

-Improving the quality of care in all countries.

Note: The BBN is currently translating this guideline into Kannada and Tamil.