What are the options for management of a prolonged second stage of labor?

Updated: Jan 24, 2019
  • Author: Sarah Hagood Milton, MD; Chief Editor: Christine Isaacs, MD  more...
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With complete cervical dilatation, the fetal heart rate should be monitored or auscultated at least every 5 minutes and after each contraction. [3] Prolonged duration of the second stage alone does not mandate operative delivery if progress is being made, but management options for second-stage arrest include the following:

  • Continuing observation/expectant management

  • Operative vaginal delivery by forceps or vacuum-assisted vaginal delivery, or cesarean delivery.

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