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1.  Diverse definitions of prolonged labour and its consequences with sometimes subsequent inappropriate treatment 
Background
Prolonged labour very often causes suffering from difficulties that may have lifelong implications. This study aimed to explore the prevalence and treatment of prolonged labour and to compare birth outcome and women’s experiences of prolonged and normal labour.
Method
Women with spontaneous onset of labour, living in a Swedish county, were recruited two months after birth, to a cross-sectional study. Women (n = 829) completed a questionnaire that investigated socio-demographic and obstetric background, birth outcome and women’s feelings and experiences of birth. The prevalence of prolonged labour, as defined by a documented ICD-code and inspection of partogram was calculated. Four groups were identified; women with prolonged labour as identified by documented ICD-codes or by partogram inspection but no ICD-code; women with normal labour augmented with oxytocin or not.
Results
Every fifth woman experienced a prolonged labour. The prevalence with the documented ICD-code was (13%) and without ICD-code but positive partogram was (8%). Seven percent of women with prolonged labour were not treated with oxytocin. Approximately one in three women (28%) received oxytocin augmentation despite having no evidence of prolonged labour. The length of labour differed between the four groups of women, from 7 to 23 hours.
Women with a prolonged labour had a negative birth experience more often (13%) than did women who had a normal labour (3%) (P <0.00). The factors that contributed most strongly to a negative birth experience in women with prolonged labour were emergency Caesarean section (OR 9.0, 95% CI 1.2-3.0) and to strongly agree with the following statement ‘My birth experience made me decide not to have any more children’ (OR 41.3, 95% CI 4.9-349.6). The factors that contributed most strongly to a negative birth experience in women with normal labour were less agreement with the statement ‘It was exiting to give birth’ (OR 0.13, 95% CI 0.34-0.5).
Conclusions
There is need for increased clinical skill in identification and classification of prolonged labour, in order to improve care for all women and their experiences of birthing processes regardless whether they experience a prolonged labour or not.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-14-233
PMCID: PMC4105110  PMID: 25031035
Birth experience; Dystocia; Prolonged labour
2.  Postpartum consultation: Occurrence, requirements and expectations 
Background
As a matter of routine, midwives in Sweden have spoken with women about their experiences of labour in a so-called 'postpartum consultation'. However, the possibility of offering women this kind of consultation today is reduced due to shortage of both time and resources. The aim of this study was to explore the occurrence, women's requirements of, and experiences of a postpartum consultation, and to identify expectations from women who wanted but did not have a consultation with the midwife assisting during labour.
Methods
All Swedish speaking women who gave birth to a live born child at a University Hospital in western Sweden were consecutively included for a phone interview over a three-week period. An additional phone interview was conducted with the women who did not have a postpartum consultation, but who wanted to talk with the midwife assisting during labour. Data from the interviews were analysed using qualitative content analysis.
Results
Of the 150 interviewed women, 56% (n = 84) had a postpartum consultation of which 61.9% (n = 52) had this with the midwife assisting during labour. Twenty of the 28 women who did not have a consultation with anyone still desired to talk with the midwife assisting during labour. Of these, 19 were interviewed. The content the women wanted to talk about was summarized in four categories: to understand the course of events during labour; to put into words, feelings about undignified management; to describe own behaviour and feelings, and to describe own fear.
Conclusion
The survey shows that the frequency of postpartum consultation is decreasing, that the majority of women who give birth today still require it, but only about half of them receive it. It is crucial to develop a plan for these consultations that meets both the women's needs and the organization within current maternity care.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-8-29
PMCID: PMC2496898  PMID: 18651967
3.  Continuity of care: what matters to women when they are referred from primary to secondary care during labour? a qualitative interview study in the Netherlands 
Background
Continuity of care during labour is important for women. Women with an intrapartum referral from primary to secondary care look back more negatively on their birh experience compared to those who are not referred. It is not clear which aspects of care contribute to this negative birth experience. This study aimed to explore in-depth the experiences of women who were referred during labour from primary to secondary care with regard to the different aspects of continuity of care.
Methods
A qualitative interview study was conducted in the Netherlands among women who were in primary care at the onset of labour and were referred to secondary care before the baby was born. Through purposive sampling 27 women were selected. Of these, nine women planned their birth at home, two in an alongside midwifery unit and 16 in hospital. Thematic analysis was used.
Results
Continuity of care was a very important issue for women because it contributed to their feeling of safety during labour. Important details were sometimes not handed over between professionals within and between primary and secondary care, in particular about women’s personal preferences. In case of referral of care from primary to secondary care, it was important for women that midwives handed over the care in person and stayed until they felt safe with the hospital team. Personal continuity of care, in which case the midwife stayed until the end of labour, was highly appreciated but not always expected.
Fear of transportion during or after labour was a reason for women to choose hospital birth but also to opt for home birth. Choice of place of birth emerged as a fluid concept; most women planned their place of birth during pregnancy and were aware that they would spend some time at home and possibly some time in hospital.
Conclusions
In case of referral from primary to secondary care during labour, midwives should hand over their care in person and preferrably stay with women throughout labour. Planned place of birth should be regarded as a fluid concept rather than a dichotomous choice.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-14-103
PMCID: PMC3995441  PMID: 24636135
Continuity of patient care; Home childbirth; Birth experience; Intrapartum care; Primary care
4.  Phase 1 development of an index to measure the quality of neuraxial labour analgesia: exploring the perspectives of childbearing women 
Canadian Journal of Anaesthesia  2010;57(5):468-478.
Purpose
Modern neuraxial labour analgesia reflects a shift in obstetrical anesthesia thinking – away from a simple focus on pain relief towards a focus on the overall quality of analgesia. However, advances in the methods used to measure outcomes have not kept pace with clinical progress, and these approaches must evolve to facilitate meaningful assessment of the advances provided towards the quality of analgesia. Developing a tool to measure the quality of neuraxial labour analgesia that research has achieved is best guided by women’s perspectives. As the initial step in developing an instrument to quantitatively measure quality neuraxial labour analgesia, this qualitative descriptive study explored childbearing women’s experiences and perspectives regarding this subject.
Methods
Twenty-eight postpartum women, all delivering with neuraxial labour analgesia, were recruited from three hospitals in the greater Toronto area. Twenty-five women described a priori plans to use neuraxial labour analgesia, or they described themselves as having been open to the idea. Women’s experiences and perspectives of neuraxial labour analgesia were explored in focus groups and in-depth interviews ≤72 hr following childbirth.
Results
Four major themes emerged: 1)The Enormity of Labour Pain; 2) Fear and Anxiety Related to Epidural Pain Relief; 3) What Women Value about Epidural Pain Relief; and 4) The Relative Value of Achieving Epidural Pain Relief vs Avoidance of Epidural Drug Side Effects. Participants broadly described quality neuraxial labour analgesia as pain relief without side effects. Responses affirmed the importance of traditionally measured outcomes as attributes of quality neuraxial labour analgesia, e.g., pain relief and side effects, as well as the overall importance of pain control during labour and delivery. For research to capture the experience of quality neuraxial labour analgesia, findings suggest that this outcome involves physical, cognitive, and emotional dimensions that must be measured. The findings further suggest an important relationship between each of these dimensions and perceptions of control.
Conclusions
Women’s perspectives must be incorporated into the assessment of quality neuraxial labour analgesia in order for research to measure this outcome in a meaningful manner. Study findings have important implications for scale development, interpretation of existing research, and antenatal education.
doi:10.1007/s12630-010-9289-1
PMCID: PMC2859165  PMID: 20229219
5.  Immersion in water in labour and birth 
Background
Enthusiasts suggest that labouring in water and waterbirth increase maternal relaxation, reduce analgesia requirements and promote a midwifery model of care. Critics cite the risk of neonatal water inhalation and maternal/neonatal infection.
Objectives
To assess the evidence from randomised controlled trials about immersion in water during labour and waterbirth on maternal, fetal, neonatal and caregiver outcomes.
Search methods
We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group’s Trials Register (30 June 2011) and reference lists of retrieved studies.
Selection criteria
Randomised controlled trials comparing immersion in any bath tub/pool with no immersion, or other non-pharmacological forms of pain management during labour and/or birth, in women during labour who were considered to be at low risk of complications, as defined by the researchers.
Data collection and analysis
We assessed trial eligibility and quality and extracted data independently. One review author entered data and the other checked for accuracy.
Main results
This review includes 12 trials (3243 women): eight related to just the first stage of labour: one to early versus late immersion in the first stage of labour; two to the first and second stages; and another to the second stage only. We identified no trials evaluating different baths/pools, or the management of third stage of labour.
Results for the first stage of labour showed there was a significant reduction in the epidural/spinal/paracervical analgesia/anaesthesia rate amongst women allocated to water immersion compared to controls (478/1254 versus 529/1245; risk ratio (RR) 0.90; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.82 to 0.99, six trials). There was also a reduction in duration of the first stage of labour (mean difference −32.4 minutes; 95% CI −58.7 to −6.13). There was no difference in assisted vaginal deliveries (RR 0.86; 95% CI 0.71 to 1.05, seven trials), caesarean sections (RR 1.21; 95% CI 0.87 to 1.68, eight trials), use of oxytocin infusion (RR 0.64; 95%CI 0.32 to 1.28,five trials), perineal trauma or maternal infection. There were no differences for Apgar score less than seven at five minutes (RR 1.58; 95% CI 0.63 to 3.93, five trials), neonatal unit admissions (RR 1.06; 95% CI 0.71 to 1.57, three trials), or neonatal infection rates (RR 2.00; 95% CI 0.50 to 7.94, five trials).
Of the three trials that compared water immersion during the second stage with no immersion, one trial showed a significantly higher level of satisfaction with the birth experience (RR 0.24; 95% CI 0.07 to 0.80).
A lack of data for some comparisons prevented robust conclusions. Further research is needed.
Authors’ conclusions
Evidence suggests that water immersion during the first stage of labour reduces the use of epidural/spinal analgesia and duration of the first stage of labour. There is limited information for other outcomes related to water use during the first and second stages of labour, due to intervention and outcome variability. There is no evidence of increased adverse effects to the fetus/neonate or woman from labouring in water or waterbirth. However, the studies are very variable and considerable heterogeneity was detected for some outcomes. Further research is needed.
doi:10.1002/14651858.CD000111.pub3
PMCID: PMC3982045  PMID: 19370552
6.  Mobility and maternal position during childbirth in Tanzania: an exploratory study at four government hospitals 
Background
Emerging research evidence suggests a potential benefit in being upright in the first stage of labour and a systematic review of trials suggests both benefits and harmful effects associated with being upright in the second stage of labour. Implementing evidence-based obstetric care in African countries with scarce resources is particularly challenging, and requires an understanding of the cumulative nature of science and commitment to applying the most up to date evidence to clinical decisions. In this study, we documented current practice rates, explored the barriers and opportunities to implementing these procedures from the provider perspective, and documented women's preferences and satisfaction with care.
Methods
This was an exploratory study using quantitative and qualitative methods. Practice rates were determined by exit interviews with a consecutive sample of postnatal women. Provider views were explored using semi-structured interviews (with doctors and traditional birth attendants) and focus group discussions (with midwives). The study was conducted at four government hospitals, two in Dar es Salaam and two in the neighbouring Coast region, Tanzania.
Main outcome measures
Practice rates for mobility during labour and delivery position; women's experiences, preferences and views about the care provided; and provider views of current practice and barriers and opportunities to evidence-based obstetric practice.
Results
Across all study sites more women were mobile at home (15.0%) than in the labour ward (2.9%), but movement was quite restricted at home before women were admitted to labour ward (51.6% chose to rest with little movement). Supine position for delivery was used routinely at all four hospitals; this was consistent with women's preferred choice of position, although very few women are aware of other positions. Qualitative findings suggest obstetricians and midwives favoured confining to bed during the first stage of labour, and supine position for delivery.
Conclusions
The barriers to change appear to be complicated and require providers to want to change, and women to be informed of alternative positions during the first stage of labour and delivery. We believe that highlighting the gap between actual practice and current evidence provides a platform for dialogue with providers to evaluate the threats and opportunities for changing practice.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-4-3
PMCID: PMC394328  PMID: 15113446
7.  Births in two different delivery units in the same clinic – A prospective study of healthy primiparous women 
Background
Earlier studies indicate that midwife-led birth settings are associated with modest benefits, including reduced medical interventions and increased maternal satisfaction. The generalizability of these studies to birth settings with low intervention rates, like those generally found in Norway, is not obvious. The aim of the present study was to compare intervention rates associated with labour in low-risk women who begin their labour in a midwife-led unit and a conventional care unit.
Methods
Eligible participants were low-risk primiparas who met the criteria for delivery in the midwife-led ward regardless of which cohort they were allocated to. The two wards are localised at the same floor. Women in both cohorts received the same standardized public antenatal care by general medical practitioners and midwifes who were not involved in the delivery. After admission of a woman to the midwife-led ward, the next woman who met the inclusion criteria, but preferred delivery at the conventional delivery ward, was allocated to the conventional delivery ward cohort. Among the 252 women in the midwife-led ward cohort, 74 (29%) women were transferred to the conventional delivery ward during labour.
Results
Emergency caesarean and instrumental delivery rates in women who were admitted to the midwife-led and conventional birth wards were statistically non-different, but more women admitted to the conventional birth ward had episiotomy. More women in the conventional delivery ward received epidural analgesia, pudental nerve block and nitrous oxide, while more women in the midwife-led ward received opiates and non-pharmacological pain relief.
Conclusion
We did not find evidence that starting delivery in the midwife-led setting offers the advantage of lower operative delivery rates. However, epidural analgesia, pudental nerve block and episiotomies were less often while non-pharmacological pain relief was often used in the midwife-led ward.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-9-25
PMCID: PMC2712449  PMID: 19545412
8.  In the Nepalese context, can a husband’s attendance during childbirth help his wife feel more in control of labour? 
Background
A husband’s support during childbirth is vital to a parturient woman’s emotional well-being. Evidence suggests that this type of support enables a woman to feel more in control during labour by reducing maternal anxiety during childbirth. However, in Nepal, where childbearing is considered an essential element of a marital relationship, the husband’s role in this process has not been explored. Therefore, we examined whether a woman in Nepal feels more in control during labour when her husband is present, compared to when another woman accompanies her or when she has no support person.
Methods
The study participants were low risk primigravida women in the following categories: women who gave birth with their husband present (n = 97), with a female friend present (n = 96), with mixed support (n = 11), and finally, a control group (n = 105). The study was conducted in the public maternity hospital in Kathmandu in 2011. The Labour Agentry Scale (LAS) was used to measure the extent to which women felt in control during labour. The study outcome was compared using an F-test from a one-way analysis of variance, and multiple regression analyses.
Results
The women who gave birth with their husband’s support reported higher mean LAS scores (47.92 ± 6.95) than the women who gave birth with a female friend’s support (39.91 ± 8.27) and the women in the control group (36.68 ± 8.31). The extent to which the women felt in control during labour was found to be positively associated with having their husband’s company during childbirth (β = 0.54; p < 0.001) even after adjusting for background variables. In addition, having a female friend’s company during childbirth was related to the women’s feeling of being in control during labour (β = 0.19; p < 0.001) but the effect size was smaller than for a husband’s company.
Conclusion
The results show that when a woman’s husband is present at the birth, she feels more in control during labour. This finding has strong implications for maternity practices in Nepal, where maternity wards rarely encourage a woman to bring her husband to a pregnancy appointment and to be present during childbirth.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-12-49
PMCID: PMC3464724  PMID: 22698006
9.  A case study evaluation of implementation of a care pathway to support normal birth in one English birth centre: anticipated benefits and unintended consequences 
Background
The policy drive for the UK National Health Service (NHS) has focused on the need for high quality services informed by evidence of best practice. The introduction of care pathways and protocols to standardise care and support implementation of evidence into practice has taken place across the NHS with limited evaluation of their impact. A multi-site case study evaluation was undertaken to assess the impact of use of care pathways and protocols on clinicians, service users and service delivery. One of the five sites was a midwifery-led Birth Centre, where an adapted version of the All Wales Clinical Pathway for Normal Birth had been implemented.
Methods
The overarching framework was realistic evaluation. A case study design enabled the capture of data on use of the pathway in the clinical setting, use of multiple methods of data collection and opportunity to study and understand the experiences of clinicians and service users whose care was informed by the pathway. Women attending the Birth Centre were recruited at their 36 week antenatal visit. Episodes of care during labour were observed, following which the woman and the midwife who cared for her were interviewed about use of the pathway. Interviews were also held with other key stakeholders from the study site. Qualitative data were content analysed.
Results
Observations were undertaken of four women during labour. Eighteen interviews were conducted with clinicians and women, including the women whose care was observed and the midwives who cared for them, senior midwifery managers and obstetricians. The implementation of the pathway resulted in a number of anticipated benefits, including increased midwifery confidence in skills to support normal birth and promotion of team working. There were also unintended consequences, including concerns about a lack of documentation of labour care and negative impact on working relationships with obstetric and other midwifery colleagues. Women were unaware their care was informed by a care pathway.
Conclusion
Care pathways are complex interventions which generate a number of consequences for practice. Those considering introduction of pathways need to ensure all relevant stakeholders are engaged with this and develop robust evaluation strategies to accompany implementation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-9-47
PMCID: PMC2761848  PMID: 19804624
10.  Birth setting, transfer and maternal sense of control: results from the DELIVER study 
Background
In the Netherlands, low risk women receive midwife-led care and can choose to give birth at home or in hospital. There is concern that transfer of care during labour from midwife-led care to an obstetrician-led unit leads to negative birth experiences, in particular among those with planned home birth. In this study we compared sense of control, which is a major attribute of the childbirth experience, for women planning home compared to women planning hospital birth under midwife-led care. In particular, we studied sense of control among women who were transferred to obstetric-led care during labour according to planned place of birth: home versus hospital.
Methods
We used data from the prospective multicentre DELIVER (Data EersteLIjns VERloskunde) cohort-study, conducted in 2009 and 2010 in the Netherlands. Sense of control during labour was assessed 6 weeks after birth, using the short version of the Labour Agentry Scale (LAS-11). A higher LAS-11 score indicates a higher feeling of control. We considered a difference of a minimum of 5.5 points as clinically relevant.
Results
Nulliparous- and parous women who planned a home birth had a 2.6 (95% CI 1.0, 4.3) and a 3.0 (1.6, 4.4) higher LAS score during first stage of labour respectively and during second stage a higher score of 2.8 (0.9, 4.7) and 2.3 (0.6, 4.0), compared with women who planned a hospital birth. Overall, women who were transferred experienced a lower sense of control than women who were not transferred. Parous women who planned a home birth and who were transferred had a 4.3 (0.2, 8.4) higher LAS score in 2nd stage, compared to those who planned a hospital birth and who were transferred.
Conclusion
We found no clinically relevant differences in feelings of control among women who planned a home or hospital birth. Transfer of care during labour lowered feelings of control, but feelings of control were similar for transferred women who planned a home or hospital birth.
As far as their expected sense of control is concerned, low risk women should be encouraged to give birth at the location of their preference.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-14-27
PMCID: PMC3898490  PMID: 24438469
11.  Exploring Professional Support Offered by Midwives during Labour: An Observation and Interview Study 
Nursing Research and Practice  2012;2012:648405.
Support in labour has an impact on the childbirth experience as well as on childbirth outcomes. Both social and professional support is needed. The aim of this study was to explore professional support offered by midwives during labour in relation to the supportive needs of the childbearing woman and her partner. The study used a qualitative, inductive design using triangulation, with observation followed by interviews. Seven midwives were observed when caring for seven women/couples in labour. After the observations, individual interviews with midwives, women, and their partners were conducted. Data were analysed using hermeneutical text interpretation. The results are presented with three themes. (1) Support as a professional task seems unclear and less well defined than medical controls. (2) Midwives and parents express somewhat different supportive ideas about how to create a sense of security. (3) Partner and midwife interact in support of the childbearing woman. The main interpretation shows that midwives' supportive role during labour could be understood as them mainly adopting the “with institution” ideology in contrast to the “with woman” ideology. This may increase the risk of childbearing women and their partners perceiving lack of support during labour. There is a need to increase efficiency by providing support for professionals to adopt the “with woman” ideology.
doi:10.1155/2012/648405
PMCID: PMC3529493  PMID: 23304482
12.  Measuring the quality and quantity of professional intrapartum support: testing a computerised systematic observation tool in the clinical setting 
Background
Continuous support in labour has a significant impact on a range of clinical outcomes, though whether the quality and quantity of support behaviours affects the strength of this impact has not yet been established. To identify the quality and quantity of support, a reliable means of measurement is needed. To this end, a new computerised systematic observation tool, the ‘SMILI’ (Supportive Midwifery in Labour Instrument) was developed.
The aim of the study was to test the validity and usability of the ‘Supportive Midwifery in Labour Instrument’ (SMILI) and to test the feasibility and acceptability of the systematic observation approach in the clinical intrapartum setting.
Methods
Systematic observation was combined with a postnatal questionnaire and the collection of data about clinical processes and outcomes for each observed labour.
The setting for the study was four National Health Service maternity units in Scotland, UK. Participants in this study were forty five midwives and forty four women.
The SMILI was used by trained midwife observers to record labour care provided by midwives. Observations were undertaken for an average of two hours and seventeen minutes during the active first stage of labour and, in 18 cases, the observation included the second stage of labour. Content validity of the instrument was tested by the observers, noting the extent to which the SMILI facilitated the recording of all key aspects of labour care and interactions. Construct validity was tested through exploration of correlations between the data recorded and women’s feelings about the support they received. Feasibility and usability data were recorded following each observation by the observer. Internal reliability and construct validity were tested through statistical analysis of the data.
Results
One hundred and four hours of labour care were observed and recorded using the SMILI during forty nine labour episodes.
Conclusion
The SMILI was found to be a valid and reliable instrument in the intrapartum setting in which it was tested. The study identified that the SMILI could be used to test correlations between the quantity and quality of support and outcomes. The systematic observational approach was found to be an acceptable and feasible method of enquiry.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-163
PMCID: PMC3751507  PMID: 23945049
Intrapartum; Labour; Support; Midwife; Systematic; Observation; Quantity; Quality; Clinical outcomes
13.  Waiting for attention and care: birthing accounts of women in rural Tanzania who developed obstetric fistula as an outcome of labour 
Background
Obstetric fistula is a physically and socially disabling obstetric complication that affects about 3,000 women in Tanzania every year. The fistula, an opening that forms between the vagina and the bladder and/or the rectum, is most frequently caused by unattended prolonged labour, often associated with delays in seeking and receiving appropriate and adequate birth care. Using the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of care (AAAQ) concept and the three delays model, this article provides empirical knowledge on birth care experiences of women who developed fistula after prolonged labour.
Methods
We used a mixed methods approach to explore the birthing experiences of women affected by fistula and the barriers to access adequate care during labour and delivery. Sixteen women were interviewed for the qualitative study and 151 women were included in the quantitative survey. All women were interviewed at the Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation Tanzania in Dar es Salaam and Bugando Medical Centre in Mwanza.
Results
Women experienced delays both before and after arriving at a health facility. Decisions on where to seek care were most often taken by husbands and mothers-in-law (60%). Access to health facilities providing emergency obstetric care was inadequate and transport was a major obstacle. About 20% reported that they had walked or were carried to the health facility. More than 50% had reported to a health facility after two or more days of labour at home. After arrival at a health facility women experienced lack of supportive care, neglect, poor assessment of labour and lack of supervision. Their birth accounts suggest unskilled birth care and poor referral routines.
Conclusions
This study reveals major gaps in access to and provision of emergency obstetric care. It illustrates how poor quality of care at health facilities contributes to delays that lead to severe birth injuries, highlighting the need to ensure women's rights to accessible, acceptable and adequate quality services during labour and delivery.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-11-75
PMCID: PMC3221614  PMID: 22013991
14.  Effect of food intake during labour on obstetric outcome: randomised controlled trial 
Objective To investigate the effect of feeding during labour on obstetric and neonatal outcomes.
Design Prospective randomised controlled trial.
Setting Birth centre in London teaching hospital.
Participants 2426 nulliparous, non-diabetic women at term, with a singleton cephalic presenting fetus and in labour with a cervical dilatation of less than 6 cm.
Intervention Consumption of a light diet or water during labour.
Main outcome measures The primary outcome measure was spontaneous vaginal delivery rate. Other outcomes measured included duration of labour, need for augmentation of labour, instrumental and caesarean delivery rates, incidence of vomiting, and neonatal outcome.
Results The spontaneous vaginal delivery rate was the same in both groups (44%; relative risk 0.99, 95% confidence interval 0.90 to 1.08). No clinically important differences were found in the duration of labour (geometric mean: eating, 597 min v water, 612 min; ratio of geometric means 0.98, 95% confidence interval 0.93 to 1.03), the caesarean delivery rate (30% v 30%; relative risk 0.99, 0.87 to 1.12), or the incidence of vomiting (35% v 34%; relative risk 1.05, 0.9 to 1.2). Neonatal outcomes were also similar.
Conclusions Consumption of a light diet during labour did not influence obstetric or neonatal outcomes in participants, nor did it increase the incidence of vomiting. Women who are allowed to eat in labour have similar lengths of labour and operative delivery rates to those allowed water only.
Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN33298015.
doi:10.1136/bmj.b784
PMCID: PMC2660391  PMID: 19318702
15.  Uterine Rupture by Intended Mode of Delivery in the UK: A National Case-Control Study 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(3):e1001184.
A case-control study using UK data estimates the risk of uterine rupture in subsequent deliveries amongst women who have had a previous caesarean section.
Background
Recent reports of the risk of morbidity due to uterine rupture are thought to have contributed in some countries to a decrease in the number of women attempting a vaginal birth after caesarean section. The aims of this study were to estimate the incidence of true uterine rupture in the UK and to investigate and quantify the associated risk factors and outcomes, on the basis of intended mode of delivery.
Methods and Findings
A UK national case-control study was undertaken between April 2009 and April 2010. The participants comprised 159 women with uterine rupture and 448 control women with a previous caesarean delivery. The estimated incidence of uterine rupture was 0.2 per 1,000 maternities overall; 2.1 and 0.3 per 1,000 maternities in women with a previous caesarean delivery planning vaginal or elective caesarean delivery, respectively. Amongst women with a previous caesarean delivery, odds of rupture were also increased in women who had ≥ two previous caesarean deliveries (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 3.02, 95% CI 1.16–7.85) and <12 months since their last caesarean delivery (aOR 3.12, 95% CI 1.62–6.02). A higher risk of rupture with labour induction and oxytocin use was apparent (aOR 3.92, 95% CI 1.00–15.33). Two women with uterine rupture died (case fatality 1.3%, 95% CI 0.2–4.5%). There were 18 perinatal deaths associated with uterine rupture among 145 infants (perinatal mortality 124 per 1,000 total births, 95% CI 75–189).
Conclusions
Although uterine rupture is associated with significant mortality and morbidity, even amongst women with a previous caesarean section planning a vaginal delivery, it is a rare occurrence. For women with a previous caesarean section, risk of uterine rupture increases with number of previous caesarean deliveries, a short interval since the last caesarean section, and labour induction and/or augmentation. These factors should be considered when counselling and managing the labour of women with a previous caesarean section.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Uterine rupture is a serious complication of pregnancy in which the wall of the uterus (womb) tears during pregnancy or early labor. Signs and symptoms of uterine rupture include fetal heart rate abnormalities, abdominal pain, and vaginal bleeding. If uterine rupture happens during labor, the woman must have an immediate caesarean section (surgical delivery of her baby) to save both her life and that of her baby. The woman's womb and nearby organs can be damaged at rupture or removed during surgery and she may need a blood transfusion because of severe bleeding. Moreover, her baby may develop respiratory distress syndrome and other life-threatening complications. In high income countries, uterine rupture most commonly occurs in women who have delivered a previous pregnancy by caesarean section. In a caesarean section, the baby is delivered through a cut made through the abdominal wall and the uterine wall. The stretching that occurs during pregnancy or the strong contractions of labor can tear the scar left by this cut, resulting in uterine rupture.
Why Was This Study Done?
Women who have had a caesarean delivery are generally encouraged to try to deliver subsequent babies vaginally. However, recent reports of an increased risk of complications (morbidity) and death (mortality) due to uterine rupture are thought to reduce women's willingness to attempt vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) in some countries. In the UK, for example, where one in four babies is delivered by caesarean section, a previous caesarean delivery is one of commonest reasons for a repeat section. Obstetricians (doctors who care for women during child birth) need to know as much as possible about the incidence of uterine rupture and about the risk factors for it so that they can advise women who have had a previous caesarean section about their delivery options. In this national case-control study (a study that compares the characteristics of people with and without a specific condition), the researchers estimate the incidence of uterine rupture in the UK by intended mode of delivery and investigate and quantify the risk factors for and outcomes of uterine rupture.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used the UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS) to identify all the women in the UK who had a uterine rupture over a 13-month period (159 women, 139 of whom had had a previous caesarean delivery). Controls for the study were women who had not had a uterine rupture but who had previously delivered by caesarean section. Overall, the incidence of uterine rupture was 0.2 per 1,000 maternities. In women with a previous caesarean delivery, 2.1 and 0.3 per 1,000 maternities ended in uterine rupture in women planning vaginal delivery and caesarean delivery, respectively. Amongst women who had had a previous caesarean delivery, the risk of uterine rupture was greater among those who had had two or more previous caesarean deliveries or a caesarean delivery less than 12 months previously, or whose labor was induced. Two women died following uterine rupture (a case fatality of 1.3%) and 18 babies died around the time of birth (a perinatal mortality rate of 124 per 1,000 live births; the UK perinatal mortality rate is 7.5 per 1,000 live births). 15 of the women who had a uterine rupture had their womb removed, 10 had other organs damaged, and nearly half had other complications; 19 of the surviving babies had health problems.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that, in the UK, although uterine rupture is associated with significant mortality and morbidity, it is a rare occurrence even among women who have had a previous caesarean delivery and are planning a vaginal delivery. They also indicate that, for women who have previously had a caesarean section, the risk of rupture increases with the number of previous caesarean deliveries, with a short interval since the last caesarean section, and with labor induction. Although the researchers may not have identified all the women who had a uterine rupture during the study period or may have identified only the worst cases, these findings provide valuable information about the factors that obstetricians need to consider when advising women who have previously had a caesarean section and when managing their labor.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001184.
This study is linked to a PLoS Medicine Research Article by Caroline Crowther and a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Catherine Spong
Wikipedia has a page on uterine rupture (note: Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has information sheets for patients on caesarean sections and on vaginal birth after caesarean delivery
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the UK has information for women on birth after previous caesarean
Childbirth Connection, a US-based not-for-profit organization, provides information about caesarean sections and about vaginal birth after caesarean
The National Childbirth Trust, a UK charity, provides information for parents on all aspects of pregnancy and birth, including caesarean sections and vaginal birth after caesarean delivery
The UK charity Healthtalkonline has personal stories from women making decisions about birth after a caesarean section
A personal story of uterine rupture during an attempted VBAC is available
The UK Obstetric Surveillance System studies rare disorders of pregnancy in the UK
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001184
PMCID: PMC3302846  PMID: 22427745
16.  The Impact of Labour Epidural Analgesia on the Childbirth Expectation and Experience at a Tertiary Care Center in Southern India. 
Background: Labour epidural analgesia is increasingly used as a means of pain relief for women during labour and delivery. The significant pain during labour and delivery can be terrifying for mothers-to-be and the prospect of relief from pain can help reduce fear of childbirth to an extent. However, it is not necessary that reduced fear of childbirth may lead to an increased satisfaction with the childbirth experience.
Aim: To determine the influence of labour epidural analgesia (LEA) on the experience of childbirth in pregnant women at a tertiary care center in southern India
Materials and Methods: A pre-post interventional non-randomized study design at a tertiary care perinatal institute that used the Wijma Delivery Expectation and Experience questionnaires to determine baseline expectations of labour and childbirth and the actual experience in pregnant women. Labour analgesia was provided on maternal request or demand. Total and domain scores were compared between the two groups using non-parametric tests and a generalized linear repeated measures model after adjusting for factors that were found significant in the bivariate model.
Results: The study included 235 pregnant women who opted for LEA and 219 pregnant women who opted against LEA. Overall, 37 (15.74%) of woman with LEA and 30 (13.70%) of women without LEA had a worse than expected experience of childbirth. Significant pain relief (p<0.001) was provided with LEA, however, the post-delivery scores did not differ significantly between the two groups (F=0.90, p=0.34) in a generalized linear repeated measures model.
Conclusion: Maternal satisfaction with the process of childbirth is a complex dynamic that is not limited to the significant relief from pain provided by LEA.
doi:10.7860/JCDR/2014/8039.4111
PMCID: PMC4003692  PMID: 24783086
Maternal satisfaction; Labour epidural analgesia; Pain relief; Childbirth; Delivery
17.  Pain perception among parturients at a University Teaching Hospital, South-Western Nigeria 
Introduction:
Labour pain is a universal experience. Relief of labour pains and companionship in labour are important aspects of quality of care in labour.
Objectives:
To evaluate perception of labour pains among parturients, their knowledge and awareness of pain relief during labour, the types of obstetric analgesia available and the outcome of their labour at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti.
Materials and Methods:
A cross-sectional study using questionnaire administered to pregnant women between 37 and 42 weeks gestational age in labour ward of the hospital.
Results:
The study revealed that 75.2% of the parturients experienced severe labour pains and 35.3% of them received analgesia in labour with Pentazocine injection being the only analgesic used. Only 18.3% had maximum relief of their pains. Parturients with increasing parity, higher social class and educational attainment and who had antenatal education on labour pains were associated with severe perception of labour pains with P values of 0.03, 0.03, 0.02 and 0.01, respectively. Parturients who were given Pentazocine injection for pains and had relief in labour had more spontaneous vaginal deliveries, P = 0.030 and better outcome for their babies, P = 0.028. Majority of the women reported that the practice of companionship and back rubbing in labour helped them to cope better with the labour process.
Conclusion:
Most women desire relief of pains of labour but the practice is still suboptimal in this centre. Efforts should be made towards developing the practice of obstetric analgesia and companionship in labour in this environment.
doi:10.4103/0300-1652.119597
PMCID: PMC3821219  PMID: 24249944
Pain; parturients; perception; South-Western Nigeria
18.  The pathway of obstructed labour as perceived by communities in south-western Uganda: a grounded theory study 
Global Health Action  2011;4:10.3402/gha.v4i0.8529.
Background
Obstructed labour is still a major cause of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality in Uganda, where many women give birth at home alone or assisted by non-skilled birth attendants. Little is known of how the community view obstructed labour, and what actions they take in cases where this complication occurs.
Objective
The objective of the study was to explore community members’ understanding of and actions taken in cases of obstructed labour in south-western Uganda.
Design
Grounded theory (GT) was used to analyse data from 20 focus group discussions (FGDs), 10 with women and 10 with men, which were conducted in eight rural and two urban communities.
Results
A conceptual model based on the community members’ understanding of obstructed labour and actions taken in response is presented as a pathway initiated by women's desire to ‘protecting own integrity’ (core category). The pathway consisted of six other categories closely linked to the core category, namely: (1) ‘taking control of own birth process’; (2) ‘reaching the limit – failing to give birth’ (individual level); (3) ‘exhausting traditional options’; (4) ‘partner taking charge’; (5) ‘facing challenging referral conditions’ (community level); and finally (6) ‘enduring a non-responsive healthcare system’ (healthcare system level).
Conclusions
There is a need to understand and acknowledge women's reluctance to involve others during childbirth. However, the healthcare system should provide acceptable care and a functional referral system closer to the community, thus supporting the community's ability to seek timely care as a response to obstructed labour. Easy access to mobile phones may improve referral systems. Upgrading of infrastructure in the region requires a multi-sectoral approach. Testing of the conceptual model through a quantitative questionnaire is recommended.
doi:10.3402/gha.v4i0.8529
PMCID: PMC3248029  PMID: 22216018
obstructed labour; community members; understanding; actions; protecting own integrity; Uganda; Africa; maternal mortality; childbirth; delivery care; mobile phones; transport
19.  Outcomes of elective induction of labour compared with expectant management: population based study 
Objective To determine neonatal outcomes (perinatal mortality and special care unit admission) and maternal outcomes (mode of delivery, delivery complications) of elective induction of labour compared with expectant management.
Design Retrospective cohort study using an unselected population database.
Setting Consultant and midwife led obstetric units in Scotland 1981-2007.
Participants 1 271 549 women with singleton pregnancies of 37 weeks or more gestation.
Interventions Outcomes of elective induction of labour (induction of labour with no recognised medical indication) at 37, 38, 39, 40, and 41 weeks’ gestation compared with those of expectant management (continuation of pregnancy to either spontaneous labour, induction of labour or caesarean section at a later gestation).
Main outcome measures Extended perinatal mortality, mode of delivery, postpartum haemorrhage, obstetric anal sphincter injury, and admission to a neonatal or special care baby unit. Outcomes were adjusted for age at delivery, parity, year of birth, birth weight, deprivation category, and, where appropriate, mode of delivery.
Results At each gestation between 37 and 41 completed weeks, elective induction of labour was associated with a decreased odds of perinatal mortality compared with expectant management (at 40 weeks’ gestation 0.08% (37/44 764) in the induction of labour group versus 0.18% (627/350 643) in the expectant management group; adjusted odds ratio 0.39, 99% confidence interval 0.24 to 0.63), without a reduction in the odds of spontaneous vertex delivery (at 40 weeks’ gestation 79.9% (35 775/44 778) in the induction of labour group versus 73.7% (258 665/350 791) in the expectant management group; adjusted odds ratio 1.26, 1.22 to 1.31). Admission to a neonatal unit was, however, increased in association with elective induction of labour at all gestations before 41 weeks (at 40 weeks’ gestation 8.0% (3605/44 778) in the induction of labour group compared with 7.3% (25 572/350 791) in the expectant management group; adjusted odds ratio 1.14, 1.09 to 1.20).
Conclusion Although residual confounding may remain, our findings indicate that elective induction of labour at term gestation can reduce perinatal mortality in developed countries without increasing the risk of operative delivery.
doi:10.1136/bmj.e2838
PMCID: PMC3349781  PMID: 22577197
20.  Randomised controlled trial of labouring in water compared with standard of augmentation for management of dystocia in first stage of labour 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2004;328(7435):314.
Objectives To evaluate the impact of labouring in water during first stage of labour on rates of epidural analgesia and operative delivery in nulliparous women with dystocia.
Design Randomised controlled trial.
Setting University teaching hospital in southern England.
Participants 99 nulliparous women with dystocia (cervical dilation rate < 1 cm/hour in active labour) at low risk of complications.
Interventions Immersion in water in birth pool or standard augmentation for dystocia (amniotomy and intravenous oxytocin).
Main outcome measures Primary: epidural analgesia and operative delivery rates. Secondary: augmentation rates with amniotomy and oxytocin, length of labour, maternal and neonatal morbidity including infections, maternal pain score, and maternal satisfaction with care.
Results Women randomised to immersion in water had a lower rate of epidural analgesia than women allocated to augmentation (47% v 66%, relative risk 0.71 (95% confidence interval 0.49 to 1.01), number needed to treat for benefit (NNT) 5). They showed no difference in rates of operative delivery (49% v 50%, 0.98 (0.65 to 1.47), NNT 98), but significantly fewer received augmentation (71% v 96%, 0.74 (0.59 to 0.88), NNT 4) or any form of obstetric intervention (amniotomy, oxytocin, epidural, or operative delivery) (80% v 98%, 0.81 (0.67 to 0.92), NNT 5). More neonates of women in the water group were admitted to the neonatal unit (6 v 0, P = 0.013), but there was no difference in Apgar score, infection rates, or umbilical cord pH.
Conclusions Labouring in water under midwifery care may be an option for slow progress in labour, reducing the need for obstetric intervention, and offering an alternative pain management strategy.
doi:10.1136/bmj.37963.606412.EE
PMCID: PMC338094  PMID: 14744822
21.  Dutch women in midwife-led care at the onset of labour: which pain relief do they prefer and what do they use? 
Background
Pain experienced during labour is more extreme than many other types of physical pain. Many pregnant women are concerned about labour pain and about how they can deal with this pain effectively.
The aim of this study was to examine the associations among low risk pregnant women’s characteristics and their preferred use and actual use of pain medication during labour.
Methods
Our study is part of the DELIVER study: a dynamic prospective multi-centre cohort study. The data for this study were collected between September 2009 and March 2011, from women at 20 midwifery practices throughout the Netherlands. Inclusion criteria for women were: singleton pregnancies, in midwife–led care at the onset of labour and speaking Dutch, English, Turkish or Arabic. Our study sample consisted of 1511 women in primary care who completed both questionnaire two (from 34 weeks of pregnancy up to birth) and questionnaire three (around six week post partum). These questionnaires were presented either online or on paper.
Results
Fifteen hundred and eleven women participated. Prenatally, 15.9% of women preferred some method of medicinal pain relief. During labour 15.2% of the total sample used medicinal pain relief and 25.3% of the women who indicated a preference to use medicinal pain relief during pregnancy, used pain medication. Non-Dutch ethnic background and planned hospital birth were associated with indicating a preference for medicinal pain relief during pregnancy. Primiparous and planned hospital birth were associated with actual use of the preferred method of medicinal pain relief during labour. Furthermore, we found that 85.5% of women who indicated a preference not to use pain medication prenatally, did not use any medication.
Conclusions
Only a small minority of women had a preference for intrapartum pain medication prenatally. Most women did not receive medicinal pain relief during labour, even if they had indicated a preference for it.
Care providers should discuss the unpredictability of the labour process and the fact that actual use of pain medication often does not match with women’s preference prenatally.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-230
PMCID: PMC4029565  PMID: 24325387
22.  The Murri clinic: a comparative retrospective study of an antenatal clinic developed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women 
Background
Indigenous Australians are a small, widely dispersed population. Regarding childbearing women and infants, inequities in service delivery and culturally unsafe services contribute to significantly poorer outcomes, with a lack of high-level research to guide service redesign. This paper reports on an Evaluation of a specialist (Murri) antenatal clinic for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
Methods
A triangulated mixed method approach generated and analysed data from a range of sources: individual and focus group interviews; surveys; mother and infant audit data; and routinely collected data. A retrospective analysis compared clinical outcomes of women who attended the Murri clinic (n=367) with Indigenous women attending standard care (n=414) provided by the same hospital over the same period. Both services see women of all risk status.
Results
The majority of women attending the Murri clinic reported high levels of satisfaction, specifically with continuity of carer antenatally. However, disappointment with the lack of continuity during labour/birth and postnatally left some women feeling abandoned and uncared for. Compared to Indigenous women attending standard care, those attending the Murri clinic were statistically less likely to be primiparous or partnered, to experience perineal trauma, to have an epidural and to have a baby admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and were more likely to have a non-instrumental vaginal birth. Multivariate analysis found higher normal birth (spontaneous onset of labour, no epidural, non-instrumental vaginal birth without episiotomy) rates amongst women attending the Murri clinic.
Conclusions
Significant benefits were associated with attending the Murri clinic. Recommendations for improvement included ongoing cultural competency training for all hospital staff, reducing duplication of services, improving co-ordination and communication between community and tertiary services, and working in partnership with community-based providers. Combining multi-agency resources to increase continuity of carer, culturally responsive care, and capacity building, including creating opportunities for Indigenous employment, education, and training is desirable, but challenging. Empirical evidence from our Evaluation provided the leverage for a multi-agency agreement to progress this goal within our catchment area.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-12-159
PMCID: PMC3548737  PMID: 23256901
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander; Indigenous Australian; Antenatal; Maternity; Midwifery; Culturally responsive; Model of care; Evaluation; Multi-agency
23.  UK study of intrapartum care for low risk primigravidas: a survey of interventions 
STUDY OBJECTIVE: To determine the extent of intrapartum intervention received by primigravidas. DESIGN: Cross sectional survey of NHS hospitals in the UK. SETTING: One hundred and one randomly selected hospital maternity units. PARTICIPANTS: Forty consecutive primigravid women, judged to be at low risk at the start of labour, in each hospital. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Seven groups of interventions or monitoring procedures were identified from the first, second, and third stages of labour: fetal monitoring, vaginal examinations, artificial rupture of membranes, augmentation of labour, pain relief, type of delivery, and episiotomy. Data were collected during 1993. MAIN RESULTS: Ninety eight hospitals took part in the study and data were collected on 3160 low risk primigravidas. Seventy four per cent of these women had continuous cardiotocography. The proportion of women having restrictive or invasive fetal monitoring showed appreciable geographical variation for both the first and second stages of labour. Using the criterion of a vaginal examination every four hours and allowing for the length of each woman's labour, 72% had more vaginal examinations than expected; there was a significant geographical variation in the number of women receiving more than five examinations. Fifty three per cent had artificial rupture of membranes; the procedure was performed over a wide range of cervical dilatations (0 cm-10 cm). Thirty eight per cent of labours were augmented, most commonly by intravenous syntocinon; the procedure showed significant geographical variation. Twenty eight per cent had a spinal block or epidural analgesia for the relief of pain; this intervention varied by geographical region only for the second stage of labour. Over one quarter of the women required instrumental delivery. Forty six per cent had an episiotomy; the frequency of this intervention varied substantially by region. There were no infant deaths. Twelve babies were recorded at birth as having a congenital anomaly. CONCLUSIONS: The rates of several interventions seem high for this low risk group and there was substantial geographical variation in the use of six interventions. Clinical trials are needed to evaluate the optimum criteria for using these interventions from which guidelines should be drawn up by local groups and the Royal College.
 
PMCID: PMC1756743  PMID: 9876360
24.  The influence of women’s fear, attitudes and beliefs of childbirth on mode and experience of birth 
Background
Women’s fears and attitudes to childbirth may influence the maternity care they receive and the outcomes of birth. This study aimed to develop profiles of women according to their attitudes regarding birth and their levels of childbirth related fear. The association of these profiles with mode and outcomes of birth was explored.
Methods
Prospective longitudinal cohort design with self report questionnaires containing a set of attitudinal statements regarding birth (Birth Attitudes Profile Scale) and a fear of birth scale (FOBS). Pregnant women responded at 18-20 weeks gestation and two months after birth from a regional area of Sweden (n = 386) and a regional area of Australia (n = 123). Cluster analysis was used to identify a set of profiles. Odds ratios (95% CI) were calculated, comparing cluster membership for country of care, pregnancy characteristics, birth experience and outcomes.
Results
Three clusters were identified – ‘Self determiners’ (clear attitudes about birth including seeing it as a natural process and no childbirth fear), ‘Take it as it comes’ (no fear of birth and low levels of agreement with any of the attitude statements) and ‘Fearful’ (afraid of birth, with concerns for the personal impact of birth including pain and control, safety concerns and low levels of agreement with attitudes relating to women’s freedom of choice or birth as a natural process). At 18 -20 weeks gestation, when compared to the ‘Self determiners’, women in the ‘Fearful’ cluster were more likely to: prefer a caesarean (OR = 3.3 CI: 1.6-6.8), hold less than positive feelings about being pregnant (OR = 3.6 CI: 1.4-9.0), report less than positive feelings about the approaching birth (OR = 7.2 CI: 4.4-12.0) and less than positive feelings about the first weeks with a newborn (OR = 2.0 CI 1.2-3.6). At two months post partum the ‘Fearful’ cluster had a greater likelihood of having had an elective caesarean (OR = 5.4 CI 2.1-14.2); they were more likely to have had an epidural if they laboured (OR = 1.9 CI 1.1-3.2) and to experience their labour pain as more intense than women in the other clusters. The ‘Fearful’ cluster were more likely to report a negative experience of birth (OR = 1.7 CI 1.02- 2.9). The ‘Take it as it comes’ cluster had a higher likelihood of an elective caesarean (OR 3.0 CI 1.1-8.0).
Conclusions
In this study three clusters of women were identified. Belonging to the ‘Fearful’ cluster had a negative effect on women’s emotional health during pregnancy and increased the likelihood of a negative birth experience. Both women in the ‘Take it as it comes’ and the ‘Fearful’ cluster had higher odds of having an elective caesarean compared to women in the ‘Self determiners’. Understanding women’s attitudes and level of fear may help midwives and doctors to tailor their interactions with women.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-12-55
PMCID: PMC3449179  PMID: 22727217
Pregnancy; Attitudes; Childbirth fear; Cluster analysis; Scale
25.  Factors influencing place of delivery for women in Kenya: an analysis of the Kenya demographic and health survey, 2008/2009 
Background
Maternal mortality in Kenya increased from 380/100000 live births to 530/100000 live births between 1990 and 2008. Skilled assistance during childbirth is central to reducing maternal mortality yet the proportion of deliveries taking place in health facilities where such assistance can reliably be provided has remained below 50% since the early 1990s. We use the 2008/2009 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey data to describe the factors that determine where women deliver in Kenya and to explore reasons given for home delivery.
Methods
Data on place of delivery, reasons for home delivery, and a range of potential explanatory factors were collected by interviewer-led questionnaire on 3977 women and augmented with distance from the nearest health facility estimated using health facility Global Positioning System (GPS) co-ordinates. Predictors of whether the woman’s most recent delivery was in a health facility were explored in an exploratory risk factor analysis using multiple logistic regression. The main reasons given by the woman for home delivery were also examined.
Results
Living in urban areas, being wealthy, more educated, using antenatal care services optimally and lower parity strongly predicted where women delivered, and so did region, ethnicity, and type of facilities used. Wealth and rural/urban residence were independently related. The effect of distance from a health facility was not significant after controlling for other variables. Women most commonly cited distance and/or lack of transport as reasons for not delivering in a health facility but over 60% gave other reasons including 20.5% who considered health facility delivery unnecessary, 18% who cited abrupt delivery as the main reason and 11% who cited high cost.
Conclusion
Physical access to health facilities through distance and/or lack of transport, and economic considerations are important barriers for women to delivering in a health facility in Kenya. Some women do not perceive a need to deliver in a health facility and may value health facility delivery less with subsequent deliveries. Access to appropriate transport for mothers in labour and improving the experiences and outcomes for mothers using health facilities at childbirth augmented by health education may increase uptake of health facility delivery in Kenya.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-40
PMCID: PMC3585789  PMID: 23414104
Maternal and child health; Maternal mortality; Neonatal mortality; Still birth; Delivery

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