- A prolonged second stage of labor is not associated with future risk of preterm birth.
Why this matters
- Previous studies have suggested that a prolonged second stage of labor may be a risk factor for subsequent preterm birth.
- Prolonged second stage is thought to contribute to cervical damage that might compromise cervical integrity for future pregnancies.
- Overall rate of spontaneous preterm birth was 3.1%.
- Overall prolonged second stage ≥4 hours in 24.4%; 70.6% of those went on to deliver vaginally.
- Overall very prolonged second stage ≥7 hours in 4.3%; 45.4% of those went on to deliver vaginally.
- No significant association between prolonged or very prolonged second stage of labor and subsequent preterm birth.
- Retrospective cohort study.
- Women with 2 consecutive deliveries between 2012 and 2018 were identified (n=1032).
- Cohort stratified into normal second stage, prolonged second stage (≥4 hours), and very prolonged second stage (≥7 hours).
- Primary outcome was spontaneous birth before 37 weeks.
- Funding: No external funding source.
- Participants from 1 institution; results may not be generalizable.