I don't think this is a good idea at all. What is going to happen when a woman has a chance of having a vaginal delivery, but her doc has had her do this test and realizes she's at risk for C-section? My guess - the poor birthing mama is going to be convinced that she needs to have a C-section "for her baby." In the hands of a doctor who isn't natural birth friendly to begin with, this test can be too easily abused. Just like what has happened with women's birthing options being reduced because C-sections were once deemed safer for breech births (we now know this isn't true and women should have a trial of labor) so all ladies with breech babies struggled to find any provider that would let them try a natural birth and only have a C-section if proven necessary....it just seems like this testing can easily go down the same path with women testing positive struggling to find a provider that will try a vaginal delivery.
At the end of the day, since no one knows *for sure* if the mom will end up needing a C-section, it's better for docs to go ahead and have a trial of labor. If she ends up unable to avoid a C-section, then at least she'll know it really couldn't be avoided.
I agree w/ the others and think we should focus our attention on HOW to avoid the things that bring on prolonged labor. Is pitocin being used to speed up a supposedly too long or stalled labor leading to a too-tired uterus and a build up of the lactic acid that leads to a c/sec? I would like to see studies on that! And how often this actually occurs in a laboring woman that was not given any pitocin or forced to stay tethered to her bed via lines and wires, resulting in a long labor.
The article mentioned that no pharmaceuticals have been developed to help a woman in labor since pitocin. AND? The fact that they are looking to drugs to solve this problem is in and of itself a problem. So many studies have been done that show that when women remain mobile, upright, and are allowed to nurish themselves during labor, the labor is shorter and smoother. Why are we looking for a drug to fix long labor when an adjustment in the way we expect women to labor would solve the problem? This is another example of interventions creating problems that we attempt to solve by even more interventions and drugs.
Instead of looking for another "test" that will glorify c/sections and give the OB's yet another justification in doing them, we should be focusing on correcting the problems that make the test necessary (the interventions and routine practices that laboring women endure in a medacalized birth that result in long lobors).
Why is it that worldwide we are calling for a reduced rate for c/sections yet research is focused on ways to identify even more women that need them? I agree that resources should instead be focused on WHY we are having so many long, slow labors and how to stop it.
If we can do that, then this test would be a very useful tool for that small percentage of women that truly do have complications and for those times when interventions are necessary for the safety of Mom & Baby. My fear is though that in todays Maternity climate, this will just be another routine intervention used to manage previous unnecessary interventions, leading to even more unnecessary c/sec with drs running around declaring that they saved Mom & Baby and they have test results to prove it.
This article made this sound like an advance in Maternal-Fetal medicine. And if judiciously used it could be. However, it won't be. And it's not. One step forward and two steps back....