Progress in childbirth care in Brazil: preliminary results of two evaluation studies

Maria do Carmo Leal Sonia de Azevedo Bittencourt Ana Paula Esteves-Pereira Bárbara Vasques da Silva Ayres Luiza Beatriz Ribeiro Acioli de A. Silva Erika Barbara Abreu Fonseca Thomaz Zeni Carvalho Lamy Marcos Nakamura-Pereira Jacqueline Alves Torres Silvana Granado Nogueira da Gama Rosa Maria Soares Madeira Domingues Maria Esther de Albuquerque Vilela About the authors


This article aims to describe the preliminary results of two evaluations studies, one about the Stork Network program and the other about the Adequate Birth program, called Stork Network Assessment and Healthy Birth, and to identify possible improvements in comparison to the Birth in Brazil study. Both studies used a cross-sectional design and were conducted in 2017. The Stork Network Assessment study included all 606 public and mixed maternity hospitals from the Stork Network and a total of 10,675 postpartum women. The Healthy Birth study included a convenience sample of 12 private hospitals and 4,798 women. Indicators of labour and childbirth care were: presence of a companion person, care by obstetric nurse, use of partograph, use of non-pharmacological methods, walking during labor, eating, use of peripheral venous catheter, position for delivery, episiotomy, and Kristeller maneuver. The indicators were compared to those verified in Birth in Brazil, a nationwide population-based study in 2011-2012, before the start of the two intervention programs. Comparisons used the chi-square test for independent samples and 95% confidence interval. There was a significant increase in the number of women with access to appropriate technology for labour and childbirth from 2011 to 2017 and a reduction in harmful practices. The private sector also showed a decrease in cesarean rates and an increase in gestational age at birth. The study’s results show that properly conducted public policies can change the scenario of care for labor and childbirth, helping to reduce in negative maternal and neonatal outcomes.

Obstetric Delivery; Perinatal Care; Maternal Health; Health Policy; Evaluation Studies

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