How would Mary Poppins fare in labour? Practically perfect? Unlikely.
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Introduction Unrealistic expectations of labour in first time mothers can present challenges to physicians and midwives. This study calculated the percentage of “practically perfect” births in nulliparous women, defined as a labour without intervention, an intact perineum and a positive neonatal outcome.Methods: This was a retrospective study of the nulliparous deliveries that occurred in the National Maternity Hospital over two years (2014/2015). To extract the perfect births, we excluded deliveries <37 >weeks, induction/pre labour Caesarean Section (CS), Artificial Rupture of Membranes (ARM), oxytocin, fetal blood sample, emergency CS/instrumental deliveries, perineal damage and suboptimal Apgar scores.
Results: 0.8% of nulliparous mothers had a practically perfect birth.
Discussion Our results provide a useful statistic for clinicians and nulliparous mothers, which could be further validated by similar studies in similar units. The study had a large cohort which objectively quantified perfect births. Research on the subjective perception of perfect births could add value to these findings.