Association Between Significant Decrease in Barometric Pressure and Onset of Labor

Authors

  • Elizabeth A. King MSN, RN, CNS,

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    • Elizabeth A. King, msn, rn, cns, is a clinical instructor at the University of Texas—Houston Health Science Center. She is also a staff nurse in labor and delivery at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston. She is a member of AWHONN and Sigma Theta Tau.

  • Robin G. Fleschler MSN, RNC, CNS, NP,

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    • Robin G. Fleschler, msn, rnc, cns, is the outcomes manager of Women's Services at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston and a clinical instructor at the University of Texas—Houston Health Science Center. She is a perinatal nurse practitioner.

  • Susan M. Cohen DSN, FNP

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    • Susan M. Cohen, dsn, fnp, is associate professor at Yale University. Dr. Cohen is a nurse practitioner in women's health care and a researcher in the impact of women's lives on their health.


St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, 6720 Bertner Avenue, Houston, TX 77030

ABSTRACT

To determine whether there is any correlation between sudden decrease in barometric pressure and onset of labor, a non-experimental, retrospective study at a 948-bed tertiary care hospital was done. Pregnant patients of 36 weeks gestation or more who presented with spontaneous onset of labor during the 48 hours surrounding the 12 occurrences of significant drop in barometric pressure in 1992 were included in the study. Significantly more occurrences of onset of labor were identified in the 24 hours after a drop in barometric pressure than were identified in the 24 hours prior to the drop in barometric pressure (P < 0.05). Therefore, the overall number of labor onsets increased in the 24 hours following a significant drop in barometric pressure.

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