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Deficiency in rest and nutrition increase the risk for prolonged labor in nulliparous women

Conference paper
Authors Anna Dencker
Liselotte Bergqvist
Lars Ladfors
Lena Skaring-Thorsén
Håkan Lilja
Published in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 195
Issue 6
Pages S84
Publication year 2007
Published at Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Pages S84
Language en
Subject categories Reproductive and perinatal care


Objective To identify factors that may influence the labor progress in nulliparous women with spontaneous contractions. Study design A prospective study of healthy nulliparous women at term with normal pregnancies and spontaneous labor. At inclusion the women were asked to measure levels of pain and sense of security on a Visual Analogue Scale and asked to report amount of rest/sleep and intake of food during the last 24 hours before onset of active labor. The progress of labor was followed every 2-3 hours and new VAS-measurements were made postpartum. Prolonged labor was defined as no further opening of the cervix for two hours after amniotomy or rupture of the membranes in the first stage of labor. Results After informed consent 2,086 nulliparous women in active labor with spontaneous contractions were included in the study. Prolonged labor was defined in 29% of the women (n=614). The women who developed a prolonged labor reported fewer hours of rest/sleep (p<0.0001) and a lower intake of food (p<0.0001) during the last 24 hours than the women with normal progress in the first stage of labor. At inclusion the women with normal progress measured higher levels of labor pain (p=0.002) together with more frequent contractions (p<0.0001) at onset of active labor. Cesarean section was more often performed among the women with prolonged labor, 11.7% versus 1,3% (p<0.0001). Postpartum the women with prolonged labor measured lower levels of experienced sense of security during the delivery (p=0.0009). There was no difference in mean of experienced labor pain between the groups postpartum. Conclusion Low intake of food and few hours of rest can contribute to prolonged labor among low risk nulliparous women with spontaneous contractions.

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