Date of Award

Fall 2006

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Gene Harkless


According to the annual report of the Government of India, 100,000 women annually continue to die because of childbirth related complications (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (Government of India), 2000-2001). In India, over 90% of women become mothers and a majority of them deliver without skilled assistance during delivery. This translates to approximately 30 million women in India experiencing pregnancy every year, and 27 million having live births (Bakshi, 2006). Of these, 136,000 maternal deaths occur every year due to childbirth complications, most of which can be prevented. Literature reveals that lack of appropriate care during pregnancy and childbirth, and especially the inadequacy of services for detecting and managing complications, explains most of the maternal deaths. Less attention has been paid to the quality of care within hospital based-services and there is growing evidence that women receive and experience appalling care in some institutions. The purpose of this study was to answer the following research questions: (1) What are the intrapartum care practices as reported by the respondents? Focusing on episiotomy, labor induction, childbirth support, labor pain management, fundal pressure, birthing position, and communication of information and instructions to women during intrapartum phase. (2) How do these reported intrapartum care practices compare with the WHO practice guidelines? (3) What are the differences in the listed intrapartum care practices between doctors and nurse-midwives? (4) What are the differences in the intraparturn care practices between government and non-government hospitals? (Abstract shortened by UMI.).