Thursday, May 26, 2016

Allowing women to extend labor reduces rate of cesarean delivery

Allowing women to extend labor reduces rate of cesarean delivery
Jefferson researchers say labor guidelines that date to the 1800s need to be updated

When women in labor are given more time to deliver their baby than current guidelines recommend, their incidence of cesarean delivery drops by 55 percent, say researchers at Thomas Jefferson University.

Their study, in the March issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is the first to formally test what happens when women in the second stage of labor (fully dilated) are given four hours, instead of three, if they did have an epidural.

Not only was the incidence of cesarean delivery reduced by more than 50 percent, there were no associated negative health consequences to the mother or child, says the study's lead author, Alexis C. Gimovsky, M.D., a Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellow at The Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.

The findings suggest that the two-hour rule, which dates back to the 1800s, needs to updated, she says. "This was a small study, so a formal change in guidelines should be based on a larger sample of women. But this study shows what we have observed in practice -- there is benefit to allowing women to labor longer."


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