Objective: To investigate the effect on correction of occipito-posterior (OP) presentation by changing maternal posture during labor.
Method: A prospective study was conducted in 120 pregnant women from March 1994 to December 1995. Women in labor were instructed to take the lateral posture so that the resultant force of the gravity of the fetus, the buoyancy of amniotic fluid, and the intermittent uterine contraction may change the fetal position from occipito-posterior into occipito-anterior (OA) presentation. Another 120 women were selected as controls.
Results: (1) In the study group, 106 women (88.3%) delivered vaginally with fetal presentation changed from OP into OA, and 14 (11.7%) received cesarean section. In the control group, only 20 women (16.7%) delivered vaginally, and 100 (83.3%) had cesarean sections (P < 0.001). (2) The average time interval in the study group was 302.6 min for the first stage and 59.8 min for the second stage, whereas 483.7 min and 156.1 min respectively in the controls. A significant difference was noted (P < 0.01).
Conclusion: It is an effective method for the mother to take the lateral posture on the same side of the fetal spine for correcting the OP position. The incidence of dystocia may be reduced as well as the cesarean section rate. The method in simple and effective, and can be used in most of hospitals.