Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am Fam Physician. 2008 Aug 1;78(3):336-41.

Spontaneous vaginal delivery.

Author information

1
Memorial Hospital of South Bend, South Bend, Indiana, USA. dalepatterson@pol.net

Abstract

Vaginal delivery is a natural process that usually does not require significant medical intervention. Management guided by current knowledge of the relevant screening tests and normal labor process can greatly increase the probability of an uncomplicated delivery and postpartum course. All women should be screened for group B streptococcus; women who test positive should be treated with antibiotics during labor. Routine human immunodeficiency virus screening of all pregnant women, and treatment with antiretroviral medication for those who test positive, can reduce perinatal transmission of the infection. Once a woman is in labor, management should focus on the goal of delivering a healthy newborn while minimizing discomfort and complications for the mother. In a patient who tests negative for group B streptococcus, delaying admission to the labor ward until she is in active labor decreases the number of possible medical interventions during labor and delivery. Once a patient has been admitted to the hospital, providing her with continuous emotional support can improve delivery outcomes and the birthing experience. Epidural analgesia is effective for pain control and should not be discontinued late in labor to reduce the need for operative vaginal delivery. Epidurals prolong labor, but do not increase the risk of cesarean delivery. Research has shown that labor may not progress as rapidly as historically reported; this should be considered before intervening for dystocia. Routine episiotomy increases morbidity and should be abandoned. Once the infant has been delivered, active management of the third stage of labor decreases the risk of postpartum hemorrhage.

PMID:
18711948
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Academy of Family Physicians
    Loading ...
    Support Center