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Overcoming the Challenges: Maternal Movement and Positioning to Facilitate Labor Progress

Zwelling, Elaine PHD, RN, LCCE, FACCE

MCN, American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/NMC.0b013e3181caeab3
Feature Article
Abstract

The benefits of maternal movement and position changes to facilitate labor progress have been discussed in the literature for decades. Recent routine interventions such as amniotomy, induction, fetal monitoring, and epidural anesthesia, as well as an increase in maternal obesity, have made position changes during labor challenging. The lack of maternal changes in position throughout labor can contribute to dystocia and increase the risk of cesarean births for failure to progress or descend. This article provides a historical review of the research findings related to the effects of maternal positioning on the labor process and uses six physiological principles as a framework to offer suggestions for maternal positioning both before and after epidural anesthesia.

In Brief

Dr. Zwelling, a world class expert on positioning in labor, shares her knowledge with MCN's readers. Elaine Zwelling, PhD, RN, LCCE, FACCE

Author Information

Elaine Zwelling is a Perinatal Nurse Consultant, Hill-Rom Company. She can be reached via e-mail at ezwelling@verizon.net

The author is a consultant for Hill-Rom Company. LWW has identified and resolved any actual or potential conflicts of interest regarding this educational activity.

The author is a consultant for Hill-Rom Company. LWW has identified and resolved any potential conflict of interest regarding this educational activity.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.