Women spend longer in
than they did 50 years ago, according to a new study from the
The study of 140,000 deliveries said the main reason may be due to changes in delivery room practices.
The study, published online in the American Journal of Obstetrics and
The more recent group of babies were also born an average of five days earlier and weighed more. The mothers' body mass index before pregnancy was also higher and the mother was about four years older than the 60s moms.
"Older mothers tend to take longer to give birth than do younger mothers," said the study's lead author, Dr. S. Katherine Laughon, of the Epidemiology Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, in a statement. "But when we take maternal age into account, it doesn't completely explain the difference in labor times."
A big change has come with
Another somewhat confusing factor is about a third of the modern women also got the hormone
Other changes later in labor include the decrease in the use of episiotomy, or incision to enlarge the vaginal opening, and use of forceps to extract the baby. There also has been a four-fold increase in cesarean delivery.