Don't miss




Journalist Sofia Amara on meeting IS group leader's ex-wife and daughter

Read more


Inside the mind of Bashar al-Assad: Author explores brutal dictatorship

Read more


Dancing nuns, skateboarding in Nepal, and more

Read more


Cameroon elections: Constitutional court rejects last petition for re-run

Read more


Music stars, French art and a dead cat's renaissance

Read more


The Khashoggi case; Endless Brexit; Canada legalises cannabis

Read more

#TECH 24

Next stop space: Japanese company constructing nanotube 'space lift'

Read more

#THE 51%

The Gender Divide: Record number of women running in U.S. midterms

Read more


Reporters: Brexit, a sea of uncertainty for fishermen

Read more

Push early when delivering first baby: US study

© AFP/File | A new US study recommends that women in their first pregnancy push early in delivery rather than wait


Women in their first pregnancy should push early in the delivery, as soon as the cervix is fully dilated, in order to minimize risks to themselves and he baby, according to a study of 2,000 American mothers.

Several previous studies have had mixed or contradictory findings on the two most common techniques used in American maternity wards: pushing immediately or waiting about an hour in order to encourage spontaneous birth, which some doctors believe reduces the need for cesareans or forceps.

From May 2014 to December 2017, six American hospitals participated in a study to determine which method is the safest for mother and child.

Hospital staff advised half the women to push immediately after being fully dilated while recommending the others to wait an hour longer.

The 2,400 women who participated were randomly placed in either group. All had received an epidural or other pain relief.

In the study published Tuesday in the JAMA journal, the researchers concluded that pushing immediately reduced the risk of complications such as infections and hemorrhage for the mother, even if there was a greater risk of significant perineal tearing.

They also found that pushing as soon as the cervix is fully dilated didn't increase the number of C-sections, and the second stage of labor was half an hour shorter for those women.

As for the newborns, the risk of infection increased when women waited longer before pushing.

The study thus leaned more heavily toward recommending prompt pushing.

"Our findings suggest that women becoming moms for the first time should begin pushing right away when they become completely dilated, for the best outcome for themselves and for their babies," lead author Alison Cahill, an obstetrician at Washington University in St Louis, told NPR radio.

The study, however, cannot be generalized to all pregnant women as it only concerned those giving birth for the first time following normal pregnancies and more than 37 weeks of gestation. But it could help change practices at US maternity wards.

© 2018 AFP