Obstetric violence is an issue of global scope and magnitude. Its widespread and continued presence indicates cultural tolerance enabled by policies and procedures that uphold paternalism. Labor and delivery nurses are the health care professionals who spend the most time at the point of care during birth, and their role must be examined. As active bystanders, labor and delivery nurses are uniquely positioned to prevent or perpetuate obstetric violence during labor and birth. Reflection on the nurse role is necessary to provide optimal care, enhance relationships with patients, and continue to evolve as a professional discipline. Perinatal nurses must lead the change to trauma-informed care practices to mitigate obstetric violence and reduce birth trauma.
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