|Slow Progression of Labour|
too slowly is a sign that not everything is as it should be during labour
and . Reasons for a slow progression
of labour include:
- Weak contractions are only one of several reasons why labour progress
may be slow or come to what is in most cases a temporary halt.
- The baby may be in the occiput , a hidden factor in as many as half of all caesareans for
poor progress. In the ,
the back of the baby’s head (occiput) is towards the mothers back. During
labour with a baby in the favourable , contractions push the rounded crown of the baby’s head
downward against the cervix, which helps open it. However, the posterior
baby can not help because the cervix lies against the broad middle of
the baby’s head. In addition, most posterior babies cannot fit through
their mothers pelvis without swivelling to anterior.
- Sometimes in early labour the cervix, the neck-like opening of the
uterus, impedes progress. During pregnancy, the cervix's job is to keep
the baby in against the pull of gravity. In preparation for labour and
during early labour, the firm connective tissue in the cervix softens
like a dry sponge absorbing water, the cervix shifts forward so as to
be in line with the force of contractions, and it effaces, meaning it
draws up into the body of the uterus. If the cervix has not finished
this process, dilation will proceed slowly if at all.
- Fear, anxiety, and other psychological issues can also hold up labour
If labour is not progressing adequately, a forceps delivery
may be required or the woman may be given oxytocin intravenously in order
to stimulate more forceful contraction of the uterus (cf. ).
The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken
from the following source(s):
1. The Thinking
Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer, 1999 Perigee Books
(def;articles & more)