Association of abnormal first stage of labor duration and maternal and neonatal morbidity

Stephanie A. Blankenship, Nandini Raghuraman, Anjana Delhi, Candice L. Woolfolk, Yong Wang, George A. Macones, Alison G. Cahill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Contemporary guidelines for labor management do not characterize abnormal labor on the basis of maternal and/or neonatal morbidity. Objective: In this study, we aimed to evaluate the association of abnormal duration of the first stage of term labor and the risk of maternal and neonatal morbidity. Study Design: We conducted a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data of all consecutive women admitted for delivery at a single center at ≥37 weeks and 0 to 7 days of gestation with singleton, nonanomalous, vertex infants from 2010 to 2015, who reached 10 cm cervical dilation. Multivariable logistic regression compared odds ratios for maternal and neonatal outcomes among women above and below the 90th, 95th, and 97th percentiles for first stage of labor duration. Receiver operating characteristic curves estimated the association between first stage of labor duration and maternal morbidity. Maternal morbidity was a composite of maternal fever, hemorrhage, transfusion, or endomyometritis; prolonged second stage of labor duration; and third- or fourth-degree perineal laceration. Neonatal morbidity was a composite of hypothermic therapy, need for mechanical ventilation, respiratory distress syndrome, meconium aspiration syndrome, birth injury or trauma, and neonatal seizure or sepsis. Results: Of 6823 women included in this study, 682 were anticipated to have first stage of labor duration above the 90th percentile cutoff point, which was associated with an increased risk of composite maternal morbidity, maternal fever, postpartum transfusion, prolonged second stage of labor duration, third- or fourth-degree perineal laceration, and cesarean or operative vaginal delivery (P≤.02) and an increased risk of composite neonatal morbidity, respiratory distress syndrome, need for mechanical ventilation, and neonatal sepsis (P≤.03). Composite maternal morbidity was 2.2 (95% confidence interval, 1.8–2.7), 1.9 (95% confidence interval, 1.4–2.4), and 1.8 (95% confidence interval, 1.3–2.5) times more likely to occur among women above the 90th, 95th, and 97th percentile, respectively, for first stage of labor duration from 4 to 10 cm. Composite neonatal morbidity was 2.6 (95% confidence interval, 2.1–3.2), 2.2 (95% confidence interval, 1.7–2.9), and 1.9 (95% confidence interval, 1.3–2.8) times more likely to occur among infants delivered by women above the 90th, 95th, and 97th percentiles for first stage of labor duration from 4 to 10 cm. Receiver operating characteristic curves among all women from 4 to 10 cm and 6 to 10 cm, including when stratified by parity and type of labor onset, had an area under the curve of 0.51 to 0.62 and 0.53 to 0.71 for maternal and neonatal morbidity, respectively. Thus, duration of labor has moderate predictive ability, at best, for composite maternal or neonatal morbidity. No curve demonstrated a clear point at which adverse maternal or neonatal outcomes increased that could be used to define abnormal labor. Conclusion: The benefit of expectantly managing a prolonged first stage of labor with duration above the 90th percentile in anticipation of vaginal delivery must be weighed against the increased risk of composite maternal and neonatal morbidity. Risks associated with performing cesarean delivery as an alternative management for women with prolonged first stage of labor duration must also be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445.e1-445.e15
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Volume223
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Keywords

  • first stage of labor
  • labor dystocia
  • maternal morbidity
  • neonatal morbidity

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