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Assessment and Optimization of Uterine Activity During Labor


Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology: March 2011 - Volume 54 - Issue 1 - p 40–49
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e31820a06aa
Intrapartum Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring

Accurate assessment of uterine activity during labor is essential to promote optimal patient outcomes. This review provides clinicians with information to develop an evidence-based, standardized approach to the evaluation and management of uterine activity during labor including identification and treatment of excessive uterine activity. Common terminology is defined in an effort to enhance clear and direct communication and accurate assessment. The latest evidence regarding normal labor is presented along with physiology related to uterine activity and fetal oxygenation. Suggestions for managing excessive uterine activity are offered as well as a synopsis of risk reduction strategies for clinical practice.

*Labor and Delivery, St John's Mercy Medical Center, St Louis, Missouri

Perinatal Risk Management and Education Services, Chicago, Illinois

Correspondence: Kathleen R. Simpson, PhD, RNC, Labor and Delivery, St John's Mercy Medical Center, St Louis, MO. e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.