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Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey:
CME Program: CATEGORY 1 CME REVIEW ARTICLES 24, 25, AND 26: CME REVIEW ARTICLE 24

The Role of Uterine Fundal Pressure in the Management of the Second Stage of Labor: A Reappraisal

Merhi, Zaher O. MD*; Awonuga, Awoniyi O. MB, BS†

Continued Medical Education
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Abstract

Among the maneuvers that are used in the second stage of labor, uterine fundal pressure is one of the most controversial. The prevalence of its use is unknown. We reviewed the existing literature to assess whether there is justification for the use of fundal pressure in the contemporary management of the second stage of labor. Only one randomized, controlled study and a few prospective studies, review articles, and case reports have been published. No confirmed benefit of the procedure has been documented and a few adverse events have been reported in association with its use. Alternative management strategies in the second stage of labor exist and should be considered whenever possible. In conclusion, the role of fundal pressure is understudied and remains controversial in the management of the second stage of labor. We believe that caution should be exercised using this maneuver until it is proven to be safe and effective.

Target Audience: Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Family Physicians

Learning Objectives: After completion of this article, the reader should be able to recall that there is a scarcity of literature related to the efficacy and safety of using fundal pressure during the second stage of labor, state that there is no confirmed benefit of the procedure and there may be some adverse maternal/fetal effects, and explain that there are alternative strategies for management of the second stage of labor.

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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