Implementing evidence in order to promote freedom of movement for women in labour

Lawrence, Annemarie, Shields, Linda, Kelly, Jenny, Lewis, Lucy, Carson, Vicki, and Ostrenski, Amanda (2014) Implementing evidence in order to promote freedom of movement for women in labour. Annals of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine, 15 (3). p. 55.

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Background/Aims: There is clear and important evidence that upright positions in the first stage of labour reduces the duration of labour, the risk of caesarean birth and the need for epidural. Despite this evidence, conventional hospital labour management continues to restrict mobility and confine women to birthing beds. The aim of this study was to find evidence based, new and innovative ways of promoting the use of upright and mobile positions for women who labour in conventional hospital settings.

Methods: A literature review was conducted. The areas of focus included the reasons why, where, when and how promoting freedom of movement for women during labour could be achieved. Gaps and trends in research knowledge were considered. Strategies to overcome the theory-practice gap were developed for consultation and implementation.

Results: Results indicate that optimising freedom of movement for women in labour requires a twopronged approach. Firstly, research evidence must inform birth policies and guidelines. Secondly, policies and guidelines must inform labour ward design and midwifery intrapartum care. Each stage is equally important, as freedom of movement for women in labour can be restricted because of intrapartum policy and/or environment and/or care.

Conclusion: As midwives, we are obliged to inform women of the benefits to themselves and their babies of being upright and mobile during labour. In order to optimise freedom of movement for women during labour, we must actively promote and implement mobility-friendly birth policies and practices in our conventional labour ward settings.

Item ID: 35901
Item Type: Article (Abstract)
ISSN: 1448-4706
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Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2014 03:46
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1110 Nursing > 111006 Midwifery @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920210 Nursing @ 100%
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