Prolonging the Second Stage of Labor can Have Negative Effects on Mom and Baby

Did you know that there are three stages of labor? It’s true. The first stage of labor refers to the period between the onset of labor and the point when a woman’s cervix is dilated to 10 centimeters; the second stage is the period between when the woman’s cervix is dilated to 10 centimeters and the delivery of the baby; and the third stage is the delivery of the placenta (1). In this piece we will be focusing on the second stage, and what constitutes dangerously prolonged labor. In the second stage of labor, the cervix is fully dilated, and the woman needs to push the baby out. The second stage of labor can last between 20 minutes and 2 hours (1). A February 2019 study set out to analyze the effects of prolonging the second stage of labor on the rate of cesarean delivery and maternal and fetal outcomes (2). Researchers did this by studying medical records from births during  two different periods. The first period was between May 2011 and April 2014, and…

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