Protractions and Arrests of Dilatation

Protractions and arrests of dilatation happen much more commonly with first-time mothers than with experienced mothers. It’s as though the uterus is inexperienced during the first labor. As many as 30% of first-time mothers will have a protraction or arrest of the progress of labor.

Often the body is just taking a rest, or has been disturbed in some way. Wild animals and even many domestic animals will stop labor altogether if they are disturbed. The human female may have a similar mechanism at work. Sometimes a women is unable to relax enough to allow her body to “do its thing”. Sometimes pain medications, epidurals and even confinement to bed will protract or arrest labor, especially Latent Phase labor. Some protractions and arrests are signs that the baby is in a “malposition” or a sign of a significantly large fetus.

“Tincture of time” cures most protractions and arrests of labor. If the mother and baby are tolerating the stresses of labor well, patience may be one of the better options in addressing this. A shower, a bath or walking may help the labor get back on track.

A protraction or arrest of an hour or two in a healthy mother and baby will not cause a problem itself. A woman already exhausted may become a bit more fatigued. However, if a mother has a problem (for example, high blood pressure or a fever), and/or the baby is showing signs (by its heart rate) that it is not tolerating labor well, a midwife or doctor may want to intervene to get the labor moving. This is usually done with the help of Pitocin.

When Pitocin is used, a woman will need an IV (an intravenous catheter), and will probably need to be in bed and monitored with an electronic fetal monitor.

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One Response to “Protractions and Arrests of Dilatation”

  1. Auth

    The Bradley Method is the best relaxation nuehtiqce for all-natural births. I’ve had three, two at home. There’s definitely pain but confidence in your body to do the work it was made to do is the best fighter of unbearable pain. Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way is the best book I could find. It has wonderful pictures that illustrate everything perfectly. I’m not sure if there’s a DVD avail but the book was fine for me. Your breathing should be normal. No nuehtiqces’ just deep peaceful breathing as you would when trying to fall asleep. Knowledge of what exactly is going on in there that’s causing the pain and using visual nuehtiqces to let it happen without tensing up against it worked for me and it’s all explained beautifully in the book. Of course there are things you can do now to prepare such as proper diet and stretches that help the body get ready and that’s in there too. One thing it doesn’t mention too much is hot water. Laboring in a birth pool or deep tub is AWESOME and I wouldn’t have made it through 13hrs of back labor without it!!


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