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J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2009 Aug;35(4):672-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0756.2008.01010.x.

Duration of the second stage of labor while wearing a dental support device: a pilot study.

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Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.



Developing a method of maximizing maternal expulsive effort should be of great value in reducing the number of cesarean sections or instrumental deliveries. Various investigations have shown that use of a dental support device (DSD) increases the isometric strength of different muscle groups. The aim of our study was to investigate the role of a DSD in second stage of pushing.


Nulliparous women with an uncomplicated singleton pregnancy course were randomly assigned either to a DSD group or to a non-device group. Duration of the second stage of labor was evaluated. Rates of cesarean section or instrumental delivery indicated for failure to descend in the second stage of labor were also evaluated. Satisfaction scores for the DSD group were evaluated (range 1-5).


Sixty-four subjects were enrolled in the study. Cesarean section and instrumental delivery were performed for 12 (18.8%) and 5 (7.8%) patients, respectively. There was no difference in obstetrical and neonatal demographics between the two groups. Among 64 enrolled patients, 38 (59.3%) were evaluated for the second stage of labor (n = 19 for each group). Duration of the second stage of labor in the DSD group was significantly shorter than in the non-device group: (median 19 min (interquartile interval, IQI, 9) vs 31 min (IQI, 23)), P < 0.001. One patient in the non-device group required a vacuum extraction for failure to descend. The mode of satisfaction score for the DSD group was 5 (59.3%).


Wearing a dental support device may shorten the second stage of labor, and may decrease the number of failures to descend requiring operative intervention.



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