Reducing maternal and infant mortality is an integral part of national development. Globally, 830 women die every day in childbirth , most being from poor and rural backgrounds in developing countries. A woman’s lifetime risk of maternal death is 1 in 4900 in developed countries and 1 in 180 in developing countries, and this difference is mainly due to inequities in access to health facilities. The global maternal mortality rate is 212/100,000 and in India the rate is 174/100,000 . The infant mortality rate is 32/1000 live births globally and in India the rate is 40.5/1000 live births . With the global implementation of the World Health Organization millennium development goals, and with the implementation of various programs by the Indian National Government, the emphasis in childbirth is on institutional deliveries. In India, in rural areas and even in a few urban areas, traditional birth attendants still conduct deliveries at home, and the lack of sterile instruments and clean surroundings, as well as improper handling techniques, leads to sepsis, jeopardizing the health of both the mother and the baby. As health schemes have been emphasizing the need for 100% institutional deliveries, it is important to know about the place where all these deliveries occur, i.e., the labor room. Not all rooms can be considered as labor rooms, as certain guidelines need to be followed for a labor room, e.g., for its layout, sterilization techniques, necessary equipment and drugs, and waste management. These guidelines are discussed in this chapter.
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