Waiting to push

Waiting to push

Polly Forster

Laboring women who have received epidurals and who delay pushing may have easier deliveries, according to two studies. When women wait to push–often for several hours–instead of pushing as soon as they reach the 10-centimeter dilation mark, their contractions help propel the baby into the pelvis. This technique, called passive fetal descent, or laboring down, makes delivery last longer, but first-time mothers who tried it found that they spent significantly less time pushing and had less overall fatigue. The delay also reduced by half the number of expected difficult deliveries in women with babies in unfavorable positions, says one study’s author, William D. Fraser, M.D., M.Sc., an obstetrician at the University of Montreal in Canada. Waiting enabled babies to reach better positions for delivery.

FROM AMERICAN JOURNAL OF OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY. OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY

COPYRIGHT 2004 Weider Publications

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group