OBJECTIVES: to describe the evolution of the number of horizontal and vertical births in the maternity ward of the University Hospital of the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil and to evaluate their correlation with the rates for caesarian, for transfer of newborns to intensive and semi-intensive care units, and maternal blood transfusions. METHODS: a time-series study. All births resulting in newborns being transferred to the Intensive Care Unit, and the maternal blood transfusions obstetrics ward between 1996 and 2005 were included in this study. In order to test the tendencies, the Prais-Winsten generalized linear regression method was used. RESULTS: in 1996 the percentage for vertical births was 5.4% and in 2005 52.3%. The average annual variance for vertical births was +20.8% (p=0.007), and for horizontal births -15.2% (p<0.001). Caesarian births showed a tendency to stabilize (p=0.243). There was a decrease of in the number of newborns transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit, 6.1% per year (p=0.001) and in the need of maternal blood transfusions (5.2% -p<0.01). CONCLUSIONS: the growing percentage of vertical births is in accordance with scientific evidence and the World Health Organization's recommendations. This practice has been gradually introduced by the team of health care professionals.
Labor stage; second; Natural childbirth; Time series studies; Humanizing delivery