An inflatable belt may reduce time spent in the second stage of labor, according to research completed by the Chonnam National University Medical School. The belt, which applies fundal pressure to the uterus, shortened the second stage of labor and caused no adverse side effects. Results from the research were published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine.

A total of 187 women were enrolled in and completed the study between 2009 and 2010. All women were pregnant with singletons – no multiple pregnancies were accepted. An inflatable obstetric belt was used to apply fundal pressure in the second stage of labor. Time spent in labor, perineal laceration and perinatal outcomes were measured.

When fundal pressure is applied to the uterus in the second stage of labor, labor progresses more quickly without increasing the risk of perineal laceration or negative perinatal outcomes.

Source: Kim JW, Kim YH, Cho HY, Shin HY, Shin JC, Choi SK, Lee KY, Song JE, Lee PR. The effect of inflatable obstetric belts in nulliparous pregnant women receiving patient-controlled epidural analgesia during the second stage of labor. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2013 Mar 26.

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