News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Hard labour under investigation


Hard labour under investigation


13 November 2012

With as many as a 30 percent of pregnant women in Australia experiencing a caesarean birth, a study led by researchers from the University of Sydney aims to determine if there is a link between high levels of lactate in amniotic fluid and difficult labours which may end with a caesarean section.

Lead investigator Sally Tracy, Professor of Midwifery at Sydney Nursing School at the University of Sydney, says like any other muscle in our body, it appears that the female uterus produces lactic acid when it is tired. There is compelling evidence that a raised lactate level in the uterine muscle leads to inhibition of muscle contractions, resulting in poor or uncoordinated contractions and a lack of progress in labour or dysfunctional labour.

By monitoring the amniotic fluid lactate levels during labour, it may be possible to determine which women are likely to experience a dysfunctional labour due to uterine muscle fatigue, says Professor Tracy.
A study based at the Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick aims to investigate the relationship between higher concentrations of amniotic fluid lactate and the diagnosis of labour dystocia. The research will build on the pioneering work recently undertaken in this area in the UK and Sweden.
While lack of progress in labour, or dystocia, is a common childbirth problem, the lack of a precise definition leads to considerable variation in clinical practice.
Professor Tracy says: “The research will be critical in determining if lactate can be used as a surrogate marker to improve the diagnosis and treatment of dystocia.”

It will allow better clinical decisions to be made and add knowledge to our understanding of how labour progresses, as well as adding a new level of precision around when and how to intervene.

“Most practitioners recognise and treat dystocia differently based on their own beliefs and experience without the certainty of a clear, consistent physiological marker to guide their decision-making,” says Professor Tracy.

The four-year research project, which was recently partially funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, will involve collecting small samples of amniotic fluid and measuring the concentration of lactate at predefined time intervals during the labour process when amniotic fluid is naturally expelled.

“Our research aims to determine the predictive value of amniotic fluid lactate concentration during labour with the decision to augment labour, and ascertain any confounders that influence lactate concentration in the amniotic fluid of the labouring women.”

If an association can be proved between the concentration of amniotic fluid lactate excreted during labour and the level of exhaustion of the uterine muscle, it will give midwives and obstetricians a clearer understanding of the how to help women to achieve a better birth outcome for themselves and their babies.

The research promises to be internationally significant, placing Australia at the forefront of applying recent advances in physiological research into lactate to the clinical setting.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Werewolf: Katniss Joins The News Team

From the outset, the Hunger Games series has dwelt obsessively on the ways that media images infiltrate our public and personal lives... From that grim starting point, Mockingjay Part One takes the process a few stages further. There is very little of the film that does not involve the characters (a) being on screens (b) making propaganda footage to be screened and (c) reacting to what other characters have been doing on screens. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Ko Witi Te Kaituhituhi

Witi Ihimaera, the distinguished Māori author and the first Māori to publish a book of short stories and a novel, has adopted a new genre with his latest book. But despite its subtitle, this book is a great deal more than a memoir of childhood. More>>

Werewolf: Rescuing Paul Robeson

Would it be any harder these days, for the US government to destroy the career of a famous American entertainer and disappear them from history – purely because of their political beliefs? You would hope so. In 1940, Paul Robeson – a gifted black athlete, singer, film star, Shakespearean actor and orator – was one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. More>>

ALSO:

"Not A Competition... A Quest": Chapman Tripp Theatre Award Winners

Big winners on the night were Equivocation (Promising Newcomer, Best Costume, Best Director and Production of the Year), Kiss the Fish (Best Music Composition, Outstanding New NZ Play and Best Supporting Actress), and Watch (Best Set, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Performance). More>>

ALSO:

Film Awards: The Dark Horse Scores Big

An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach Genesis Potini, made all the right moves to take out top honours along with five other awards at the Rialto Channel New Zealand Film Awards - nicknamed The Moas. More>>

ALSO:

Theatre: Ralph McCubbin Howell Wins 2014 Bruce Mason Award

The Bruce Mason Playwriting Award was presented to Ralph McCubbin Howell at the Playmarket Accolades in Wellington on 23 November 2014. More>>

ALSO:

One Good Tern: Fairy Tern Crowned NZ Seabird Of The Year

The fairy tern and the Fiji petrel traded the lead in the poll several times. But a late surge saw it come out on top with 1882 votes. The Fiji petrel won 1801 votes, and 563 people voted for the little blue penguin. More>>

Music Awards: Lorde Reigns Supreme

Following a hugely successful year locally and internationally, Lorde has done it again taking out no less than six Tuis at the 49th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news