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Perineal care and outcomes in a birth center

Lopes, G. A., Leister, N. & Riesco, M. L. G. (2019). Perineal care and outcomes in a birth center. Texto & Contexto - Enfermagem, 28, article number e210801608. doi: 10.1590/1980-265x-tce-2018-0168


Objective: to analyse the perineal outcomes in childbirth and post-partum perineal care in a freestanding birth centre.

Method: a cross-sectional study, with data collection performed in the women’s birth records forms from Casa Angela, a freestanding birth centre, São Paulo, Brazil, in 2016-2017 (n=415). The following data was analysed: occurrence and perineal tear degree; maternal, neonatal and birth care-related variables; perineal suture prevalence; complications in wound healing and natural methods on perineal care. Data were subjected to descriptive, inferential and multiple analyses.

Results: in 11.8% of women, the perineum was kept intact, 61.9% had spontaneous first-degree tear and 26.3% had second-degree tear. The variables related to the occurrence and higher spontaneous degree tears were maternal age and second period of childbirth >2 hours. The protective factors against the occurrence and higher degree tears were number of previous vaginal childbirths and maternal position different from vertical during childbirth. Perineal suture was performed in 16.0% and 70.6% of women with spontaneous first- and second-degree tears, respectively. The main perineal complications after birth were edema (53.6%) and pain (29.4%); and the perineal suture increased the chance for these complications (OR=2.5; 95%CI 1.5-4.3). Perineum icepack compress was used in 53.8% of women during post-partum period.

Conclusion: maternal and health-care related factors were associated to the prevalence and degree of spontaneous perineal tear. First-degree spontaneous perineal tears were prevalent and sutured in a low number of women. There were more complications in the wound healing process when the perineal suture was performed, regardless the tear degree. The number of natural methods in post-partum perineal care was higher than the use of medicines.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
Publisher Keywords: Childbirth, Parturition, Lacerations, Birthing centres, Obstetric nursing
Subjects: R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
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