Objective The objective of this study was to determine whether the duration and progress of the first stage of labor are different in black compared with white women. Study Design Retrospective cohort study of labor progress among consecutive black (n = 3,924) and white (n = 921) women with singleton term pregnancies (≥ 37 weeks) who completed the first stage of labor. Duration of labor and progression from 1 cm to the next was estimated using interval-censored regression. Labor duration and progress among black and white women in the entire cohort, and stratified by parity, were compared in multivariable interval-censored regression models. Repeated-measures analysis with 9th-degree polynomial modeling was used to construct average labor curves. Results There were no significant differences in duration of the first stage of labor in black compared with white women (median, 4-10 cm: 5.1 vs. 4.9 hours [p = 0.43] for nulliparous and 3.5 vs. 3.9 hours [p = 0.84] for multiparous women). Similarly, there were no significant differences in progression in increments of 1 cm. Average labor curves were also not significantly different. Conclusion Duration and progress of the first stage of labor are identical in black and white women. This suggests similar standards may be applied in the first stage of labor.
- labor progress