New in RHL

Different classes of antibiotics given to women routinely for preventing infection at caesarean section

Cephalosporines and penicillins showed to be effective in preventing early infection when given routinely to women at caesarean section and had no statistical significant differences between them.

Antibiotics for prelabour rupture of membrane at or near term

Giving prophylactic antibiotics to women with prelabour rupture of membranes (PROM) at or near term have shown no reduction in maternal infectious morbidity, early-onset neonatal sepsis, stillbirth, neonatal or perinatal mortality when compared to placebo or no treatment

Corticosteroids for preventing neonatal respiratory morbidity after elective caesarean section at term

Prophylactic administration of betamethasone to women undergoing elective caesarean section between 37 and 39 weeks of gestation seems to reduce the risk of admission to special and to intensive neonatal care units for respiratory distress.

Symphysial fundal height (SFH) measurement in pregnancy for detecting abnormal fetal growth

There is a lack of evidence regarding the effectiveness of SFH measurement in pregnancy to detect abnormal fetal growth.

Group versus conventional antenatal care for women

Women’s satisfaction is significantly higher in women receiving group antenatal care compared to individual antenatal care. There were no significant differences in available perinatal outcomes.

Obstetric Consequences of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting

This review found that women with female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) are more likely to experience delivery complications compared to women without FGM/C. More prospective studies are required.

Antibiotic prophylaxis during the second and third trimester to reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes and morbidity

There is insufficient evidence to support the routine use of antibiotics in the second and third trimesters to prevent infectious complications. However their use may reduce the risk of preterm delivery in selected patients, and may reduce the risk of postpartum infections.

Controlled cord traction for the third stage of labour

Controlled cord traction in the third stage of labour reduces mean blood loss and reduces the risk of the need for manual removal of the placenta.

Induction of labour in women with gestational diabetes

WHO does not recommend induction of labour before 41 weeks gestation when gestational diabetes is the only abnormality.

Tocolysis for management of retained placenta

This review found only one small trial of nitroglycerine in retained placenta to reduce the need of manual removal and blood loss in the third stage of labour. More trials are needed.

Interventions for preventing or reducing domestic violence against pregnant women

There is insufficient evidence on specific interventions for preventing or reducing violence against women during pregnancy.

Search WHO guidelines on sexual and reproductive health



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Methodological resources

Methodological and education resources for improved understanding of the concepts and discussions related to generation of best evidence


A set of training videos to help clinicians master details of manual or surgical procedures

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