Optimizing Birth: Creation and Analysis of an Ideal Labor and Delivery Experience
thesisposted on 01.05.2016, 00:00 by Kathryn L. Mertz
In this literature review, the author seeks to describe the objectively "best" birth experience for low-risk pregnancies by analyzing studies that compare various outcomes and scenarios of the labor and delivery experience, such as location of birth, body positioning during labor and delivery , medical professionals involved, water births, alternative pain management, sexual activity, and food and drink intake during labor. Components of analysis, or "outcome factors," include maternal satisfaction, maternal health and safety outcomes, neonatal health and safety outcomes, and cost effectiveness. The ideal birthing experience includes midwife-led care at an alternative birth center. Upright body positions, water immersion, and alternative pain management should also be encouraged as part of the ideal birthing experience, but only as the patient desires. Sexual activity and food and drink intake do not affect outcomes or interventions in the labor and delivery experience, so they can be an option if the patient desires, but are not included as part of the ideal birthing experience. These conclusions create a statistically ideal birthing experience that is not applicable to every laboring patient, so each patient should be advised to individually decide their own best birthing experience.