Maternal and Neonatal Outcomes with Early Compared with Delayed Pushing among Nulliparous Women

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: To describe factors associated with delayed pushing and evaluate the relationship between delayed pushing and perinatal outcomes in nulliparous women with singleton term gestations. METHODS: This was a secondary analysis of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Assessment of Perinatal Excellence cohort of 115,502 women and their neonates born in 25 U.S. hospitals from 2008 to 2011. Nulliparous women with singleton, cephalic, nonanomalous term births who achieved 10-cm cervical dilation were included. Women in whom pushing was delayed by 60 minutes or greater (delayed group) were compared with those who initiated pushing within 30 minutes (early group). Multivariable regression analyses were used to assess the independent association of delayed pushing with mode of delivery, length of the second stage, and other maternal and perinatal outcomes (significance defined as P<.05). RESULTS: Of 21,034 women in the primary analysis sample, pushing was delayed in 18.4% (n3,870). Women who were older, privately insured, or non-Hispanic white as well as those who had induction or augmentation of labor, diabetes, or epidural analgesia were more likely to have delayed pushing. Delayed pushing was more common when the second stage began during daytime hours or in hospitals with dedicated 24-hour obstetric anesthesia, although differences were small. After adjusting for differences in baseline and labor characteristics including center, women in the delayed group had longer mean durations of the second stage (191 compared with 84 minutes, P<.001) and of active pushing (86 compared with 76 minutes, P<.001). Delayed pushing was associated with greater rates of cesarean delivery (11.2% compared with 5.1%; adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.86, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.63-2.12), operative vaginal delivery (adjusted OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.14-1.40), postpartum hemorrhage (adjusted OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.05-1.95), and blood transfusion (adjusted OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.04-2.17). Delayed pushing was not associated with increased odds of adverse neonatal outcomes compared with early pushing. CONCLUSION: In this large birth cohort, delayed pushing was associated with longer second stage duration, increased odds of cesarean delivery, and increased odds of postpartum hemorrhage, but was not associated with neonatal morbidity.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Yee LM; Sandoval G; Bailit J; Reddy UM; Wapner RJ; Varner MW; Caritis SN; Prasad M; Tita ATN; Saade G
  • Start Page

  • 1039
  • End Page

  • 1047
  • Volume

  • 128
  • Issue

  • 5