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What are the key phases in normal childbirth?

Most births in the UK take place in obstetric led hospital units where midwives are expected to care for women with both high and low risk births. The department of health (DOH, 2005) identified that 20% of labours were induced; the caesarean section rate was 23% and 30% of women had epidural or spinal anaesthesia.

Supporting normal birth in obstetric units can be problematic as midwifery care is influenced by recognisable medical parameters, labour ward practices and the environment of this setting. However, midwives need to promote improved childbirth experiences for women. In order to achieve this, Midwives need to feel confident in the practices that facilitate normal birth.

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