Objective: To investigate the effect on correction of occipito-posterior (OP) by changing maternal posture during labor.
Methods: One hundred normal primigravida with head OP position in the latent phase of labor were randomly divided into 2 groups: Group A (n = 50), women were instructed to lay on the same lateral posture with the fetal spine during labor in order to correct the fetal position from OP to occipito anterior (OA); Group B (n = 50) lay on the opposite side to the fetal spine. The OP position was diagnosed by vaginal examination or B ultrasound, and the course of labor and mode of delivery were observed.
Results: Thirty-four women delivered vaginally (68%) in group A, with 27 of them turned to OA position (54%); spontaneously while they were 22 (44%) and 12 (24%) in group B respectively, a significant difference was shown (P < 0.005). The average time interval for the 1st stage was (13.5 +/- 6.5) hour and (17.1 +/- 7.2) hour for group A and B respectively, also a significant difference was noted (P < 0.01).
Conclusion: To instruct women in labor to take the lateral recumbent position with the same side of fetal spine for correcting OP to OA is an effective method. It may increase vaginal deliveries and shorten the first stage of labor, thus reduce dystocia due to OP position. This method is simple and effective, and maybe adopted in most obstetric units.