Get access


Second Stage of Labor


  • Joyce Roberts C.N.M., Ph.D.

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Joyce Roberts received her M.S. degree in nurse-midwifery from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and her Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Illinois, Chicago. Currently, she holds a faculty position in the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois. She is also serving as a nurse-midwife at Cook County Hospital where she is continuing her research in positional variations in the conduct of labor.

  • Part 1 on the first stage of labor appeared in the July/August 1980 issue of JNM.

University of Illinois at the Medical Center, College of Nursing, Room 848, Dept. of Maternal-Child Nursing, P.O. Box 6998, Chicago, IL 60680.


While the lithotomy position is used extensively in American obstetrical settings, it has been criticized because of the physiological and anatomical compromises it imposes on the mother and her fetus at the time of birth. This paper reviews the variety of positions that may be considered as alternatives to the lithotomy position. It also considers the nature of the parturient's expulsive efforts as an additional factor related to maternal position and influencing the duration of second stage as well as fetal/neonatal and maternal status. As in the first stage of labor, a variety of factors are associated with maternal position in contributing to labor outcome.