The Length Of The Second Stage Of Labor In Uncomplicated, Nulliparous African American And Puerto Rican Women

Authors

  • Elaine K. Diegmann CNM, ND, FACNM,

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    • Elaine Diegmann is the Director of Nurse-Midwifery Education Program and Services at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She received a BS in Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania; an MEd at Columbia; and a certificate in nurse midwifery from UMDNJ. She earned her doctorate in nursing from Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University.

  • Claire M. Andrews CNM, PhD, FAAN,

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    • Claire Andrews is on the faculty of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. She received a BSN from St. John College (Ohio); an MS and CNM from the University of Utah; and a PhD in Nursing from the Wayne State University (Michigan). She has 28 years of nursing experience in service, education, administration, program development, and research.

  • Carol A. Niemczura CNM, PhD

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    • Carol Niemczura has a PhD in Women's Studies from Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio. She works as a clinical nurse-midwife in a full-scope university-based practice with OB-GYN Associates affiliated with University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. She also works as a clinical faculty member at Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. She received a certificate in nurse-midwifery from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio in 1985 and an MSN, also from CWRU, in 1977 with a dual clinical major in medical surgical nursing and education. She graduated with a BSN from St. John College, Cleveland, Ohio in 1971.


Elaine K. Diegmann, CNM, ND, FACNM, 1220 Inman Avenue, Edison, NJ 08820.

ABSTRACT

The Friedman Curve of Normal Labor, based on Emanuel Friedman's studies of Caucasian women in 1954 and 1955, remains the “gold standard” for assessing progress in the second stage of labor. Clinical observation by the authors, however, suggests that the second stage of labor is shorter in African American and Puerto Rican women.

This descriptive, comparative study examined the duration of the second stage of labor in nulliparous African American and Puerto Rican women with uncomplicated births. The labor and delivery records of 373 African American and 157 Puerto Rican nulliparous women were randomly selected and reviewed, and the mean durations of the second stage of labor for both groups were compared to Friedman's labor curve.

The mean length of second stage of labor in the sample of African American women was 31.6 minutes with a standard deviation of +22.5 minutes, significantly shorter than Friedman's duration (P < .01). The mean length of second stage of labor in the sample of Puerto Rican women was 44.32 minutes with a standard deviation of +33.03 minutes. This was also shorter than Friedman's figure for the second stage of labor (P < .01). These findings provide a more appropriate curve for monitoring labor progress in women from different ethnic backgrounds.

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