A randomized trial of coached versus uncoached maternal pushing during the second stage of labor

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Jan;194(1):10-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2005.06.022.


Objective: The objective of this study was to compare obstetrical outcomes associated with coached versus uncoached pushing during the second stage of labor.

Study design: Upon reaching the second stage, previously consented nulliparous women with uncomplicated labors and without epidural analgesia were randomly assigned to coached (n = 163) versus uncoached (n = 157) pushing. Women allocated to coaching received standardized closed glottis pushing instructions by certified nurse-midwives with proper ventilation encouraged between contractions. These midwives also attended those women assigned to no coaching to ensure that any expulsive efforts were involuntary.

Results: The second stage of labor was abbreviated by approximately 13 minutes in coached women (P = .01). There were no other clinically significant immediate maternal or neonatal outcomes between the 2 groups.

Conclusion: Although associated with a slightly shorter second stage, coached maternal pushing confers no other advantages and withholding such coaching is not harmful.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Delivery, Obstetric / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Labor Stage, Second*
  • Midwifery*
  • Natural Childbirth
  • Pregnancy
  • Time Factors
  • Unnecessary Procedures