In the busy modern maternity unit, personal attention is often minimal and the needs of the expectant mother, surrounded by high technology monitoring equipment, are often subordinated to those of the unborn child. Often her only contact with the supervising obstetrician is in the event of complications and consequently the experience of labour, which is one of the most physically and emotionally demanding events in a woman's life, is made more stressful than it need be. In this book the authors set out an alternative approach to the management of labour designed to enhance the experience of childbirth for the mother. "Active Management of Labour" denotes a policy in which the mother is given two guarantees: that labour will last no longer than 12 hours, and that she will never be left alone during that time. The emphasis throughout is on personal attention from the hospital staff, with a much greater involvement from the supervising obstetrician. The third edition of this text describes how the progress of labour is monitored and controlled, the use of anaesthetics and analgesics and the steps to be taken in the event of problems and complications.
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