Professor Vanora Hundley was recently invited to give a lecture to staff and students at UTHealth School of Nursing in Houston, Texas School of Nursing. The topic of her presentation was ‘Early labour – should we be telling women to stay at home?’
Early labour often presents a challenge for women and midwives in the UK. There is evidence that women admitted to hospital in the latent phase of labour are more likely to get unnecessary interventions, however women seek hospital admission for reassurance and support. The problem is further complicated by a lack of a clear definition of the latent phase as a recent systematic review, conducted with colleagues from the International Early Labour Research Group, shows (Hanley et al., 2016).
Nurses at UTHealth recognised the challenges of supporting women in early labour, but due to insurance policy requirements women are often not admitted to a labour and birthing room until they are 4 cm dilated or in the active labour phase. Instead women remain in a triage or holding area until they are 4 cm dilated, or may be sent home. The challenge in Texas is how to support women who are waiting for labour to progress.
CMMPH is conducting a number of studies to identify how best to support women in early labour and opportunities for collaboration with staff at UT Health were explored.
Reference: Hanley GE, Munro S, Greyson D, Gross MM, Hundley V, Spiby H and Janssen PA (2016) Diagnosing onset of labor: A systematic review of definitions in the research literature. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 16: 71
Photo shows Dr Rebecca Helmreich (UTH) & Prof Vanora Hundley (BU)