Does delayed pushing in the second stage of labor impact perinatal outcomes?

Heather A. Frey, Methodius G. Tuuli, Sarah Cortez, Anthony O. Odibo, Kimberly A. Roehl, Anthony L. Shanks, George A. Macones, Alison G. Cahill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: To estimate maternal, neonatal, and labor outcomes associated with delayed pushing. Study Design: A retrospective cohort study of all consecutive women admitted to a single institution in labor at term who reached the second stage of labor. Pregnancies with multiple fetuses or major anomalies were excluded. Delayed pushing was defined as initiation of pushing ≥60 minutes after complete dilatation. Primary outcome was mode of delivery. Multivariable logistic regression was used to control for confounding. Results: Of the 5290 women who met inclusion criteria, 471 (8.9%) employed delayed pushing, and 4819 (91.1%) pushed immediately. Delayed pushing was associated with increased rates of cesarean, operative vaginal delivery, maternal fever, and lower arterial cord pH. Duration of the second stage and length of time spent pushing were significantly longer with delayed pushing. Conclusion: Delayed pushing is associated with lower rates of spontaneous vaginal delivery and increased adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-814
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of perinatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2012


  • delayed pushing
  • labor management
  • second stage


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