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Br J Clin Pract. 1991 Summer;45(2):90-1.

The management of the second stage of labour in primiparae with epidural analgesia.

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Gynaecology Department, Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.


One hundred and ninety-four primiparae with lumbar epidural analgesia established during the first stage of labour were discouraged from pushing until the fetal head was visible at the perineum or until three hours had elapsed since full dilation of the cervix. The outcome in this group was compared with a similar group in whom pushing was commenced as soon as the second stage was diagnosed. The observed increase in spontaneous deliveries did not reach statistical significance. There was a reduction in non-rotational forceps (p less than 0.05), but no change occurred in the incidence of rotational forceps deliveries. The high rates of oxytocin augmentation in these primiparous labours may account for the failure of delayed pushing to increase the spontaneous delivery rate in our population.

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