New Guidelines Establish The Rights Of Women When Giving Birth

To reduce unnecessary medical interventions in childbirth and respect the woman's wishes, the World Health Organization sets standards in a report.
Midwife trainees deliver a baby at the Juba Teaching Hospital in South Sudan. Source: Stefanie Glinski/AFP/Getty Images

For more than 60 years, it has been the standard of care to try to speed up childbirth with drugs, or to perform a cesarean section if labor was seen as progressing too slowly.

Now a new set of recommendations is changing the game.

In February, the World Health Organization released a set of 56 recommendations in a report called . One key recommendation is to allow a slow labor to continue without trying to hurry the birth along with drugs or other medical interventions. The paper cites studies showing that a long, slow labor — when the mother and baby are doing well — is not necessarily dangerous.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR5 min read
David Duchovny's New Book 'Truly Like Lightning' Started As An 'X-Files' Episode
The actor also has a master's degree in English literature. In the past few years, he's turned his talents to writing novels.
NPR3 min readCrime & Violence
Iowa Reporter Goes On Trial In Case That Raises Press Freedom Concerns
The Des Moines Register reporter, Andrea Sahouri, was arrested as she covered a Black Lives Matter protest. "Treating media work as a crime is a human rights violation," Amnesty International said.
NPR2 min readWorld
Pope Francis Visits Iraqi Region Where Cities And Lives Were Shattered By ISIS
The pope spent the third day of his visit in the north of the country, where the Christian population is dwindling. He also prayed for the ethnic minority Yazidis, who were brutally targeted by ISIS.