Document Type

Honors

Department

Nursing

Abstract

Lamaze International identifies six care practices used to promote, protect, and support the normal physiologic process of birth (Lamaze, 2007; Lamaze, 2014). These practices include: allowing labor to begin on its own; allowing freedom of movement throughout labor; providing continuous labor support; avoiding routine interventions; promoting spontaneous pushing in upright or gravity-neutral positions; and not separating mother and baby with unlimited breastfeeding opportunities. These care practices were adopted for nurses (Romano & Lothian, 2008) to support the normal physiologic birth (NPB.) The disparity between this recognized standard of care and the reality of nursing student education in the maternity clinical setting is explored through a survey of 59 nursing students. The survey elicited responses regarding: 1) educational experiences with NPB in the maternity clinical practicum; 2) experiences with each of the care practices in the maternity clinical practicum; and 3) beliefs about NBP in the clinical setting. The findings indicated a gap between evidence-based practice taught in the classroom and the experience of student nurses in the maternity clinical setting. Implications for nursing practice, research, education, and policy are identified.

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