Information for the public

Care of women and their babies during labour and birth

Care of women and their babies during labour and birth

About this information

NICE guidelines provide advice on the care and support that should be offered to people who use health and care services.

This information explains the advice that is set out in NICE guideline CG190 about the care of women and their babies during labour and immediately after the birth.

Information in the sections on listening to your baby's heartbeat and if electronic monitoring is needed was updated in 2017.

Does this information apply to me?

Yes, if you have had a straightforward pregnancy and give birth between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy.

It does not cover women:

  • who give birth before 37 weeks or after 42 weeks

  • who have conditions such as pre‑eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) or diabetes

  • who are pregnant with more than 1 baby

  • who have had a caesarean section before, or are having a planned caesarean section

  • who are being induced

  • whose baby is 'breech' (bottom down)

  • whose baby is not growing properly in the womb (uterus)

  • whose baby has an inherited condition that means she or he might need assessment and extra care at birth

  • whose baby has died in the womb.

NICE has written other guidelines about pregnancy, birth and postnatal care – see other NICE guidance for details.

  • Information Standard