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history of nursing, innovations, intrapartum care, mother/baby care, perinatal nursing



  1. Martell, Louise K. PhD, RN


The history of perinatal nursing from before 1970 to the present is characterized by innovations that became common practice in later years. These innovations include fetal monitoring, mother/baby care, and early postpartum discharge. The driving forces behind changes in care within the social context of the times were scientific/medical developments and families' desires for the best possible childbearing experience. With innovations becoming commonplace, nursing practice became more complex. How nurses approach present-day challenges of increasing technology of birth, looming threats of litigation, and providing care under time and economic restraints is continuing to evolve.