The purpose of this study was to examine the hypothesis that dystocia in nulliparas is directly related to birth weight. The study was confined to the first 1000 nulliparas delivered in 1988 who went into labor after 37 weeks' gestation with a single live fetus and cephalic presentation. The management of labor was standardized. As birth weight increased, there was an increase in the mean duration of labor and of the second stage of labor, in the incidence of oxytocin augmentation, and in the incidence of both cesarean and forceps delivery for dystocia. The direct relationship between birth weight and the mean duration of labor was independent of gestation and oxytocin augmentation. These findings suggest that birth weight is an important factor in the development of dystocia in nulliparas.
© 1990 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists