How Long Is a Normal Labor? Contemporary Patterns of Labor and Birth in a Low-Risk Sample of 1,612 Women from Four Nordic Countries
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionBirth 2015, 42(4):346-353 http://doi.org/10.1111/birt.12191
Objective: Normal progress of labo u r is a subject for discussion among professionals. The aim of th is study was to assess the length of labour in women with a planned home birth and spontaneous onset who gave birth at home or in hospital after transfer. Methods : This is a population - based study of home birth s in four Nordic countries (Denmark, Iceland, No rway and Sweden). All midwives assisting at a home birth from 200 8 - 2013 were asked to provide information about home birth s using a questionnaire. Result s: B irth data from 1612 women, from Denmark, ( n= 1170), Norway (n=263) Sweden (n=138), and Iceland (n=41) was included . The total median length from onset of labour until the birth of the baby was approximately 14 hours for primiparas and 7 . 2 5 hours for multiparas. The length of the different phases varied bet ween countries. Blood loss > 1000 ml and perine a l ruptures that needed suturing were associated with a longer pushing phase and the latter with country of residence, parity, single status and the baby’s weight . Conclusion: In this population of healthy women with a low prevalence of interventions the total length of labour was fairly similar to what is described in the literature for multiparas, but longer for primiparas . Although the length of the phases of labo ur differed among countries , it was to a minor extent associated with severe outcome s .