By: 3 February 2017
Glucose significantly helps reduce length of induced labour

A study presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting in Canada showed findings from the study titled, Reduction of total labour length through the addition of parenteral dextrose solution in induction of labour in nulliparous: results of DEXTRONS prospective randomised controlled trial.

The study investigated the use of glucose to shorten induced labour in nulliparous (first time giving birth). The primary outcome studied was the total length of active labour.

Prolonged labour can be harmful to maternal and foetal health. Few medical interventions are known to shorten labour duration. Because muscle performance is known to be improved by glucose supplementation, the researchers tested whether adding glucose to the intravenous hydration solution women receive during labour could accelerate labour. Two hundred pregnant women were randomly assigned to receive either a standard hydration solution containing salt and water or a solution containing glucose, salt and water.

Josianne Pare, of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Sherbrooke and the presenter of the research at the SMFM annual meeting, explained, “We found that the median duration of labour was 76 minutes shorter in the group of women receiving glucose. There was no difference in the mode of delivery (cesarean section, forceps, etc.), or the neonatal well-being measures.” Pare continued, “Glucose supplementation therefore significantly reduces the total length of labour without increasing the rate of complication. This is great news for women experiencing induced labour.”

The researchers concluded that, given the low-cost and safety of this intervention, glucose should be the solute of choice during labour.

Source: Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.