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Concept: Pelvic girdle pain


Childbirth fear is linked with lower labor pain tolerance and worse postpartum adjustment. Empirically validated childbirth preparation options are lacking for pregnant women facing this problem. Mindfulness approaches, now widely disseminated, can alleviate symptoms of both chronic and acute pain and improve psychological adjustment, suggesting potential benefit when applied to childbirth education.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Uterus, Randomized controlled trial, Obstetrics, Pain, Pelvic girdle pain, Doula


Considerable debate surrounds the influence media have on first-time pregnant women. Much of the academic literature discusses the influence of (reality) television, which often portrays birth as risky, dramatic and painful and there is evidence that this has a negative effect on childbirth in society, through the increasing anticipation of negative outcomes. It is suggested that women seek out such programmes to help understand what could happen during the birth because there is a cultural void. However the impact that has on normal birth has not been explored.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Uterus, Obstetrics, Pelvic girdle pain


To characterize the prevalence of and factors associated with clinicians' prenatal suspicion of a large baby; and to determine whether communicating fetal size concerns to patients was associated with labor and delivery interventions and outcomes.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infant, Fetus, Uterus, Obstetrics, Placenta, Pelvic girdle pain


Few studies on the influence of race/color on pregnancy and birthcare experiences have been carried out in Brazil. Additionally, none of the existing studies are of national scope. This study sought to evaluate inequities in prenatal and childbirth care according to race/color using propensity score matching. The data comes from the study Birth in Brazil: National Survey into Labor and Birth, a national population study comprised of interviews and revisions of medical records that included 23,894 women in 2011/2012. We used logistic regressions to estimate odds ratios (OR) and respective 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) of race/color associated with the outcomes were analyzed. When compared with white-skinned women, black-skinned women were more likely to have inadequate prenatal care (OR = 1.6; 95%CI: 1.4-1.9), to not be linked to a maternity hospital for childbirth (OR = 1.2 95%CI: 1.1-1.4), to be without a companion (OR = 1.7; 95%CI: 1.4-2.0), to seek more than one hospital for childbirth (OR =1.3; 95%CI: 1.2-1.5), and less likely to receive local anesthesia for an episiotomy (OR = 1.5; 95%CI: 1.1-2.1). Brown-skinned women were also more likely to have inadequate prenatal care (OR = 1.2; 95%CI: 1.1-1.4) and to lack a companion (OR = 1.4; 95%CI: 1.3-1.6) when compared with white-skinned women. We identified racial disparities in care during pregnancy and childbirth, which displayed a gradient going from worst to best care provided to black, brown and white-skinned women.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Uterus, Obstetrics, Miscarriage, Propensity score, Pelvic girdle pain, Prenatal care


OBJECTIVE: Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is a disabling condition affecting 30% of pregnant women. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of craniosacral therapy as an adjunct to standard treatment compared to standard treatment alone for PGP during pregnancy. DESIGN: Randomised, multicentre, single blind, controlled trial. SETTING: University hospital, a private clinic and 26 maternity care centres in Gothenburg, Sweden. POPULATION: 123 pregnant women with PGP. METHODS: Participants were randomly assigned to standard treatment (control group, n=60) or standard treatment plus craniosacral therapy (intervention group, n=63). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcome measures: Pain intensity (Visual Analogue Scale 0-100mm) and sick leave. Secondary outcomes: function (Oswestery Disability Index), health-related quality of life (European Quality of Life measure), unpleasantness of pain (Visual Analogue Scale), and assessment of the severity of PGP by an independent examiner. RESULTS: Between-group differences for morning pain, symptom-free women and function in the last treatment week were in favor of the intervention group. Visual Analogue Scale median was 27 mm (95% confidence interval 24.6-35.9) vs. 35 mm (95% confidence interval 33.5-45.7)(p=0.017) and the function disability index was 40 (range 34-46) vs. 48 (range 40-56)(p=0.016). CONCLUSIONS: Lower morning pain intensity and lesser deteriorated function was seen after craniosacral therapy in conjunction with standard treatment compared to standard treatment alone, but no effects regarding evening pain and sick-leave. Treatment effects were small and clinically questionable and conclusions should be drawn carefully. Further studies are warranted before reccomending craniosacral therapy for pelvic girdle pain. © 2013 The Authors Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica © 2013 Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Randomized controlled trial, Obstetrics, Normal distribution, Pubic symphysis, Gynaecology, Pelvic girdle pain


BACKGROUND: Urinary incontinence (UI) is a common condition in women causing reduced quality of life and withdrawal from fitness and exercise activities. Pregnancy and childbirth are established risk factors. Current guidelines for exercise during pregnancy have no or limited focus on the evidence for the effect of pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) in the prevention and treatment of UI. AIMS: Systematic review to address the effect of PFMT during pregnancy and after delivery in the prevention and treatment of UI. DATA SOURCES: PubMed, CENTRAL, Cochrane Library, EMBASE and PEDro databases and hand search of available reference lists and conference abstracts (June 2012). METHODS: Study eligibility criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasiexperimental trials published in the English language. Participants: Primiparous or multiparous pregnant or postpartum women. Interventions: PFMT with or without biofeedback, vaginal cones or electrical stimulation. Study appraisal and synthesis methods: Both authors independently reviewed, grouped and qualitatively synthesised the trials. RESULTS: 22 randomised or quasiexperimental trials were found. There is a very large heterogeneity in the populations studied, inclusion and exclusion criteria, outcome measures and content of PFMT interventions. Based on the studies with relevant sample size, high adherence to a strength-training protocol and close follow-up, we found that PFMT during pregnancy and after delivery can prevent and treat UI. A supervised training protocol following strength-training principles, emphasising close to maximum contractions and lasting at least 8 weeks is recommended. CONCLUSIONS: PFMT is effective when supervised training is conducted. Further high-quality RCTs are needed especially after delivery. Given the prevalence of female UI and its impact on exercise participation, PFMT should be incorporated as a routine part of women’s exercise programmes in general.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Uterus, Randomized controlled trial, Urinary incontinence, Urinary bladder, Pelvic floor, Pelvic girdle pain


Pelvic girdle pain is a frequent cause of sick leave among pregnant women in Denmark. Studies regarding prevention of pelvic girdle pain are sparse. The aim of this study was to examine the association between physical exercise and pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Pelvic girdle pain


Maternal obesity is associated with complications and adverse outcomes during the labor and delivery process. In pregnant women with a healthy body weight, maternal physical activity during pregnancy is associated with better obstetric outcomes; however, the effect of maternal physical activity during pregnancy on obstetric outcomes in obese women is not known. The purpose of the study was to determine the influence of self-reported physical activity levels on obstetric outcomes in pregnant obese women.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infant, Uterus, Obesity, Obstetrics, Pelvic girdle pain, Braxton Hicks contractions


Many studies suggest that impairment of motor control is the mechanical component of the pathogenesis of painful disorders in the lumbo-sacral region; however, this theory is still unproven and the results and recommendations for intervention remain questionable. The need for a force to compress both innominate bones against the sacrum is the basis for treatment of pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PGP). Therefore, it is advised to use a pelvic belt and do exercises to enhance contraction of the muscles which provide this compression. However, our clinical experience is that contraction of those muscles appears to be excessive in PGP. Therefore, in patients with long-lasting pregnancy-related posterior PGP, there is a need to investigate the contraction pattern of an important muscle that provides a compressive force, i.e. the transverse abdominal muscle (TrA), during a load transfer test, such as active straight leg raising (ASLR).

Concepts: Scientific method, Childbirth, Pelvis, Thigh, Sacrum, Pelvic girdle pain, Pelvimetry, Hip bone


In recent decades, there has been a shift to later childbearing in high-income countries. There is limited large-scale evidence of the relationship between maternal age and child outcomes beyond the perinatal period. The objective of this study is to quantify a child’s risk of developmental vulnerability at age five, according to their mother’s age at childbirth.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infant, Embryo, Uterus, Parent, Mother, Pelvic girdle pain