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ABSTRACT

Apgar scores at 1 and 5 min were compared in a retrospective study of two groups of primipara women in order to determine if a slow delivery of the head over an intact perineum compromises the well being of the newborn. Since the intact perineum group did not demonstrate significantly lower scores at either 1 or 5 min, it may be concluded that newborn well being is not compromised by a slow delivery of the head over an intact perineum. The statistical difference at 1 min was contributed to largely by the greater number of Apgar scores of 9 (49%) in the intact perineum group and the greater number of Apgar scores of 8 (44%) in the median episiotomy group. These higher scores in the newborns from the intact perineum group certainly support the need for additional study as well as raise significant questions concerning aspects of the rationale for the routine use of episiotomy in North American obstetrics.