This study evaluated the use of best practices (eating, movement, use of nonpharmacological methods for pain relief and partograph) and obstetric interventions in labor and delivery among low-risk women. Data from the hospital-based survey Birth in Brazil conducted between 2011 and 2012 was used. Best practices during labor occurred in less than 50% of women and prevalence of the use of these practices was lower in the North, Northeast and Central West Regions. The rate of use of oxytocin drips and amniotomy was 40%, and was higher among women admitted to public hospitals and in women with a low level of education. The uterine fundal pressure, episiotomy and lithotomy were used in 37%, 56% and 92% of women, respectively. Caesarean section rates were lower in women using the public health system, nonwhites, women with a low level of education and multiparous women. To improve the health of mothers and newborns and promote quality of life, a change of approach to labor and childbirth that focuses on evidence-based care is required in both the public and private health sectors.
Public Health Practice; Maternal and Child Health; Obstretic Labor; Parturition