Active management of labourBMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6960.1015 (Published 15 October 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1015
True purpose has been misunderstood
- Kieran O'Driscoll
- Professor emeritus National Maternity Hospital, Dublin 2, Republic of Ireland.
EDITOR,--I wish to dispel any misunderstanding that may have arisen concerning the true purpose of active management of labour,1 introduced in the BMJ in 1969.2 The purpose is to enhance the experience of childbirth for mothers, particularly first time mothers, whose need is greatest.3 The result has been that every expectant mother who attended this hospital during the past 25 years about 150000—was given two firm assurances: that labour would not last longer than 12 hours and that a sympathetic nurse-midwife would afford personal attention throughout. The rate of caesarean section was not a motivating factor.
Rates of caesarean section did …