Maternal factors associated with labor dystocia in low-risk nulliparous women. A systematic review and meta-analysis

Sara Jochumsen, Hanne Kristine Hegaard, Line Rode, Karsten Juhl Jørgensen, Nina Olsén Nathan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Objective: To identify maternal factors associated with labor dystocia in low-risk nulliparous women. Methods: MEDLINE, Embase, ClinicalTrials.gov, Cochrane, and CINAHL were searched for intervention studies and observational studies published from January 2000 to January 2022. Low-risk was defined as nulliparous women with a singleton, cephalic birth in spontaneous labor at term. Labor dystocia was defined by national or international criteria or treatment. Countries were restricted to OECD members. Two authors independently screened 11,374 titles and abstracts, extracted data, and assessed risk of bias using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Results were presented narratively and by meta-analysis when compatible. Results: Seven cohort studies were included. Overall, the certainty of the evidence was moderate. Three studies found that higher maternal age was associated with an increased frequency of labor dystocia (relative risk 1.68; 95% CI 1.43–1.98). Further three studies found that higher maternal BMI was associated with increased frequency of labor dystocia (relative risk 1.20; 95% CI 1.01–1.43). Maternal short stature, fear of childbirth, and high caffeine intake were also associated with an increased frequency of labor dystocia, while maternal physical activity was associated with a decreased frequency. Conclusion: Maternal factors associated with an increased frequency of labor dystocia were mainly maternal age, physical characteristics, and fear of childbirth. Maternal physical activity was associated with a decreased frequency. Intervention studies targeting these maternal factors would need to be initiated before or early in pregnancy to test the causality of the identified factors and labor dystocia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100855
JournalSexual and Reproductive Healthcare
Volume36
ISSN1877-5756
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Keywords

  • Labor dystocia
  • Meta-analysis
  • Nulliparous
  • Preventive factors
  • Risk factors

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