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DELIVERY POSITIONS AND PERINEAL OUTCOME

Authors

  • Joyce E. Roberts CNM, PhD,

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    • Joyce Roberts is the Director of the Nurse-Midwifery educational program at the University of Illinois. She received her BS in Nursing from the University of Wyoming, her MS in Maternal-Newborn Nursing and Nurse-Midwifery from the University of Utah, and her PhD in Nursing from the University of Illinois. She practices as a nurse-midwife at Cook County Hospital in Chicago where she is currently involved in research related to maternal position during childbirth and other aspects of the birth experience.

  • Diane Mokos Kriz CNM, MSN

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    • Diane Mokos Kriz is a staff nurse-midwife at Cook County Hospital. She received her BSN from St. Louis University and her MSN in Nurse-Midwifery from the University of Illinois. She has taught maternity nursing and is also a childbirth educator.


University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing, Rm. 808, PO Box 6998, Chicago, IL 60680.

ABSTRACT

The data from 847 births from a home birth practice where six different positions were used for delivery permitted the analysis of the effect of maternal position on perineal outcome. The obstetrical log also permitted the identification of other factors that influenced maternal position and perineal outcome. The most frequently used birth position was semisitting, in 83% of the births. The incidence of episiotomy was 7%, and of lacerations, 55%. Factors significantly associated with maternal position were fetal presentation (breech) and birth attendant. Fetal position or presentation, infant weight, parity, and the birth attendant were significantly associated with perineal outcome. The predominant use of the semisitting position may explain why there was no association between maternal position and perineal outcome. The influence of the birth attendant on both these factors suggests the impact of attitudes, skill, or ease in assisting the birth on these aspects of obstetrical practice.

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