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NIH study finds women spend longer in labor now than 50 years ago
Date:3/30/2012

ls to progress. This could happen if the dilation of the cervix slows or the active phase of labor stops for several hours, Dr. Laughon explained. In these cases, intervention can include administering oxytocin or performing a cesarean delivery.

In fact, the study found that the rate of cesarean delivery was four times higher today than it was 50 years ago (12 percent vs. 3 percent).

The authors note that while their study does not identify all the factors contributing to longer delivery times, the findings do indicate that current delivery practices may need to be re-evaluated.

The women in the contemporary cohort had an average pre-pregnancy BMI of 24.9. A BMI of 25 is considered overweight. Overweight and obesity raise the risk of pregnancy complications for mother and baby. Women who are overweight or obese and who would like to become pregnant should speak with their health care provider about losing weight before becoming pregnant.


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Contact: Robert Bock
bockr@mail.nih.gov
301-496-5133
NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Source:Eurekalert

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