ACOG - The American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists - is the guiding professional organization for obgyns in the United States and is responsible for producing guidelines and recommendations for care of families in labor and birth. Earlier this year, the organization released new recommendations called "Approaches to Limit Intervention During Labor and Birth." The paper issued several recommendations calling for less interventions for low-risk people during labor and birth. Why? Because oftentimes, these commonly used obstetric interventions have little or no benefits, and in fact, can lead to more interventions and poor outcomes. Also, fewer interventions can have an overall more positive impact on a person's satisfaction with their birth experience.
What's also exciting about the ACOG recommendations is how they uniquely support the long-standing Lamaze guidelines for a safe and healthy birth! To make it easy for you to review, we've created a side-by-side comparison of the Lamaze Six Healthy Birth Practices alongside ACOG's positions. Take a look below. On the left you'll see each of the Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices (learn more about those, including a short tips video of each here), and on the right, the ACOG recommendations that match up. You can download a PDF of this graphic here.
How to Use this Document
Here are a few practical ways in which you can use this side-by-side healthy birth recommendations document.
Create a birth plan - A birth plan should include the most important preferences and desires for your care in birth. Include the Six Healthy Birth Practices and you'll have some of the most important practices that help add up to best outcomes.
Discussions with your care providers - Print out and take this sheet with you when discussing practices and interventions with your doctor or midwife. Finding out how they approach each of these care practices will give you insight into how they will care for your in labor and birth.
Inform your decisions for labor and birth - Maybe you had always thought getting induced sounded convenient and simple, or that having the doctor break your water was no big deal. These recommendations may encourage you to learn more -- like you would through taking a childbirth class -- and alter your preferences.