The definition for normal birth is specifically applied to vaginal births without the use of technology or medical interventions. This excludes the onset of labour using induction methods, pain management such as epidural or spinal anaesthetic, and the use of forceps or ventouse.

Normal birth is a technical definition put forward for use as part of collecting statistics and inclusion in maternity dashboards and indicators. It is to be as used for statistics as a measurement of the process of labour and not an outcome. The outcomes for mother and newborn are measured through their physical and emotional wellbeing.

More information and full reports:


Maternity Care Working Group Party (2007)


WHO resource for care in normal birth



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