Medical and Nonmedical Factors Influencing Utilization of Delayed Pushing in the Second Stage

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To evaluate factors impacting selection to delayed pushing in the second stage of labor.

Study Design

This case-control study was a secondary analysis of a large retrospective cohort study. Cases included women who delayed pushing for 60 minutes or more in the second stage of labor. Controls began pushing prior to 60 minutes from the time of diagnosis of complete dilation. Demographic, labor, and nonmedical factors were compared among cases and controls. Logistic regression modeling was used to identify factors independently associated with delayed pushing.


We identified 471 women who delayed pushing and 4819 controls. Nulliparity, maternal body mass index > 25, high fetal station at complete dilation, regional anesthesia use, and start of second stage during staffing shift change were independent factors associated with increased use of delayed pushing. On the other hand, black race and second-stage management during night shift were associated with lower odds of employing delayed pushing. Delayed pushing was more commonly employed in nulliparous women, but 38.9% of multiparous women also delayed pushing.


We identified multiple factors associated with use of delayed pushing. This study helps to define current patterns of second-stage labor management.

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