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Evidence-based recommendations on intrapartum care are important to ensure the safety of mothers and neonates. The objective of this study was to compare two established guidelines for intrapartum care to provide clinicians with more comprehensive recommendations on intrapartum management. We carried out a descriptive analysis of guidelines from the Integrated Management of Pregnancy and Childbirth (IMPAC) guidelines published by the World Health Organization, and the Perinatal Care Manual published by the Ministry of Health Malaysia, on intrapartum care to determine differences, if any, with regards to management. Latent, active and the second phase of labour are defined differently in both guidelines. Both guidelines showed high similarity in the steps of clinical management for all phases of labour but differed in foetal monitoring methods, indications for episiotomy, mood and behavior assessment, universal precautions, pain management, and placental disposal. Both guidelines had similar managements for most of the problems encountered during the intrapartum period except for preterm labour and multiple births which have substantial differences. Malaysian guidelines highlight additional systems such as the red alert system, and referral and retrieval system, which would enhance the quality of intrapartum management. The IMPAC guidelines emphasize supportive care, birth companionship, maternal care and monitoring up to one hour after placental delivery; and home birth management; these are inadequately explained or lacking in Malaysian guidelines. From the comparison, it was seen that substantial variation exists in intrapartum management between both guidelines that indicates the need for better evidences to synthesize a more comprehensive set of guidelines for the improvement in intrapartum care.
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