Around 4.7 million European women experience childbirth annually. There are significant cross-EU differences in maternity care cultures, philosophies, organization, uptake, and outcomes. The wide diversity of practices in Europe raises questions about the appropriate level of intervention during childbirth.
Striking the right balance in terms of intervention in the normal birth process between what best evidence suggests is medically beneficial and what effectively is ritualised practice as well ascertaining what women want is problematic. Even the definition of normal birth and defining what may be accepted as intervention poses a not insignificant challenge.
In this study we aim to compare protocols between 21 European Countries. The focus of our comparison will be the interventions described in protocols that optimize a normal birth process as well as the proposed use of interventions that are potentially harmful to optimize the birth process.
To advance scientific knowledge about ways of improving maternity care provision and outcomes for mothers, babies and families across Europe.
Which evidence based interventions aimed at the promotion of normal birth are incorporated in national or widely used protocols in Europe.
The wide diversity of practices in Europe raises questions about the appropriate level of intervention during childbirth. It is important to gain insight in determinants that might influence the balance of interventions in the normal birth process that are medically beneficial and those that are ritualized and potential harmful for pregnant women.