This quality standard covers the care of women and their babies during labour and immediately after the birth. It covers women who go into labour at term, and includes women at low risk of complications during labour and those who go on to develop complications. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.

It does not cover intrapartum care for women at high risk of complications.

In February 2017, this quality standard was updated and statement 3 on cardiotocography and the initial assessment of a woman in labour was removed. This is because the guidance from NICE on intrapartum care for healthy women and babies has been updated and the advice on using cardiotocography has changed. For more information see update information.

Keeping quality standards up to date

This quality standard is reviewed each year and updated if needed.

Quality standard development process

How we develop NICE quality standards