Is Your labor Laborious Enough

You hurt, but your obstetrician is shaking her head, surreptitiously scanning her watch, raising her eyebrows at the nurse; you get the message. The contractions aren't really strong enough.So what can be done. Is it too late to take that truck ride down a bumpy road...yes, and as far as we know, that's just a 'wives tale'. Nipple stimulation can help, but at the point of early labor your natural hormone release may not necessarily be augmented. So first some facts, get hooked up to the monitor and see if those contractions are "adaquate" or really good. Fetal monitoring was invented by a team of obstetricians which included Drs Hon, Caldero-Barcia, Guttmacher and others. And when I was a resident, and Dr. Hon stood up in Grand Rounds to question us, we needed to know our stuff! But I digress (again!). If the contractions are good the uterine pressure registering above baseline on your graph paper should read about 40 to 60 mmHg at it's most intense. The next step is for your obstetrician to measure the contractions during the 10 minute period of measurement 3 contractions occurred and the final verdict of adaquacy: your total Montevideo units (MVUs). A fancny measuremeant of  the pressure caculated as a multiple of the peak pressure and the number of times that happened over 10 minutes. Thus most adaquate labors, one where we will expect typical progression should read about 150 MVUs or a bit more. So the next time you happen to be watching a fetal monitor, you can throw around some of those terms between your Lamaze breathing!


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