Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Epidural analgesia leads to increased risk of instrumental vaginal delivery (IVD). There is debate about whether or not posture in second-stage labour influences the incidence of spontaneous vaginal birth (SVB). OBJECTIVES: In nulliparous women with epidural analgesia, does a policy of adopting an 'upright position' throughout second-stage labour increase the incidence of SVB compared with a policy of adopting a 'lying-down' position? DESIGN: Two-arm randomised controlled trial. SETTING: Maternity units in England and Wales. PARTICIPANTS: Nulliparous women aged ≥ 16 years, at ≥ 37 weeks' gestation with singleton cephalic presentation and intended SVB, in second-stage labour with an epidural providing effective pain relief. INTERVENTIONS: (1) Upright position to maintain the pelvis in as vertical a plane as possible; and (2) lying-down position to maintain the pelvis in as horizontal a plane as possible. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome measure was incidence of SVB. Secondary outcomes included augmentation, interventions to maintain blood pressure, duration of labour, episiotomy, genital tract trauma, post-partum haemorrhage, maternal satisfaction, neonatal metabolic acidosis, 5-minute Apgar score of

Original publication




Journal article


Health Technol Assess

Publication Date





1 - 176


Adult, Analgesia, Epidural, Cost-Benefit Analysis, England, Female, Humans, Labor Stage, Second, Parity, Patient Positioning, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Outcome, Quality of Life, State Medicine, Treatment Outcome, Wales