This study aimed to assess whether nurses’ presence in delivery care in maternity hospitals linked to the Rede Cegonha program promotes access to best obstetric practices during labor and delivery. We conducted an evaluative study in 2017 in all 606 SUS maternity hospitals that joined this strategic policy in all Brazilian states. We collected data from maternity hospital managers and puerperae. The analysis was performed at two levels: hospital with or without a nurse in delivery care; and professionals that attended vaginal delivery, whether doctors or nurses. We used best practices and interventions for vaginal deliveries and cesarean section rates as dependent variables. We included 5.016 subjects for analyses of vaginal deliveries and 9.692 to calculate cesarean section rates. Multiple regressions were adjusted for geographic region, maternity hospital size, and puerperae skin color and parity. Maternity hospitals with nurses in delivery care used more the partograph and less oxytocin, lithotomy, episiotomy, and cesarean section. Deliveries attended by nurses had more frequent use of the partograph and a lower likelihood of lithotomy and episiotomy. The inclusion of nurses in vaginal delivery care has successfully brought women closer to a more physiological and respectful delivery.
Nurse; Rede Cegonha; Best practices; Labor and birth