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Early Labour: Should we be telling women to stay at home?

by Vanora Hundley, RN, RM, PhD
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 R-CERP
  • Learning Format: Webinar
  • Handout: No
  • Origin: Perinatal 2014

Traditionally women have laboured and given birth in their own homes, but over the course of the twentieth century hospital birth increased in frequency, eventually becoming the norm in many high income countries. With the move away from birth in the home, deciding when to come into hospital became an important and challenging issue for women. Midwives frequently encourage women to labour at home for as long as possible, but women often seek hospital admission because they are anxious and would like more support. In this presentation I examine the evidence surrounding early labour in hospital and ask whether we should be telling women to stay at home.

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: Describe the impact of the changing place of birth on women’s decisions regarding labour
Objective 2: Discuss what is known, and not known, about the phases of labour
Objective 3: Explain how early labour admission to hospital (in the latent phase of labour) affects intervention rates and labour outcomes
Objective 4: outline potential solutions to encourage women to labour at home
Objective 5: Discuss the impact on women of being sent home in early labour