Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Coached Pushing May Not Be Necessary During Labor

We've all seen television programs and movies in which a woman giving birth is coached to push during contractions. As reported in a recent New York Times article (Childbrith: Rethinking the Big Push During Contractions, 1/3/06), it may not be necessary. The article discusses a study published in the current issue of American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology [194(1):10-13]. Women who met certain criteria (first birth, uncomplicated labor, at term, not receiving an epidural, etc.) were randomized to either be coached on pushing and breathing by a certified nurse-midwife during the second stage of labor, or to be attended by the CNM and not coached to push, but told to do what felt natural. No real differences were found in the outcomes for the mother or the child, except that women coached to push spent an average of 13 fewer minutes in labor.

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MeSH Tags: Labor Stage, Second

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