Role of a second stage partogram in predicting the outcome of normal labour


: Dr Jayati Kusari Basu, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of the Witwatersrand, Wits Medical School, 7, York Road, Parktown 2193, Johannesburg, South Africa. Email:


Background: Management of the second stage of labour is dictated by arbitrary time limits rather than true measures of progress. No partogram is available for second stage of labour.

Objectives: To evaluate a partogram designed for use for the second stage of labour.

Methods: This prospective cross-sectional analytical study included low-risk pregnant women with singleton fetuses with vertex presentations at term. From onset of the second stage, vaginal examinations were performed every 30 min until delivery. A scoring system developed by Sizer et al. was used based on station and position of fetal head. Scores were plotted on a second stage partogram and used to predict labour outcomes, such as duration of second stage and mode of delivery.

Results: Of 79 women examined, 73 had spontaneous vaginal delivery. Of the remaining six, four required oxytocin infusion and other two required vacuum extraction. The median durations of the second stage of labour for primigravidas (n = 34) and multigravidas (n = 45) were 35 and 25 min, respectively. The median Sizer's partogram score at the onset of second stage was 4. Multiple regression analysis showed that the partogram score (r2 = 0.27) and gravidity (r2 = 0.10) were independent predictors of duration of the second stage. There was a significant association between second stage progress plotted to the right of the partogram line and non-spontaneous delivery (P = 0.01).

Conclusion: The second stage partogram score at onset can predict the duration of second stage. Poor progress plotted on the partogram is associated with non-spontaneous delivery.