Birthing centres in Nepal: Recent developments, obstacles and opportunities

Type Journal Article - Journal of Asian Midwives
Title Birthing centres in Nepal: Recent developments, obstacles and opportunities
Volume 3
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 18-30
Background: Establishing and promoting birthing centers (BCs) can be one strategy to
increase access to emergency obstetric care and skilled attendants at birth, to avert many
maternal deaths. BCs are a component of local health service delivery, whereby midwives (or
health care professionals with midwifery competencies) provide maternity services to
generally healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies, mostly in the community setting.
Methods: A literature review was carried out involving searches and appraisals of relevant
literature on birthing centers in Nepal, South Asia, and other similar settings.
Findings//Conclusion: In Nepal, midwife-led care in BCs was found to be appropriate for
pregnant women, with no complications, for giving birth. BCs have the potential to improve
both (a) the institutional delivery rate and (b) the proportion of births that benefit from the
presence of a skilled birth attendant (SBA). However, accessibility, socio-demographic
characteristics, and cultural factors act as barriers to pregnant women attending birthing
centres and hospital facilities. Moreover, there is an increasing trend of bypassing BCs to
give birth in hospitals. The increase in facility-based births requires more monitoring of the
quality of care provided.

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