Associations among maternal characteristics, labour interventions, delivery mode and maternal antenatal complications in a NSW large rural town, and comparison to NSW state data

Publication Name

Australian Journal of Rural Health


Objective: To determine associations between maternal characteristics, labour interventions, delivery mode and maternal antenatal complications in a NSW rural hospital, and compare these to state data. Methods: Data (maternal characteristics, labour type, delivery mode and maternal antenatal complications) pertaining to women who had delivered a singleton birth at Griffith Base hospital were analysed. Design: Retrospective data analysis of Griffith Base Hospital ‘eMaternity’ database. Setting: Single large rural town in NSW. Participants: Women who delivered a singleton birth between July 2018 and June 2019 inclusive at Griffith Base Hospital. Main outcome measures: 1. Comparison of maternal characteristics of age, BMI, gravida, parity and gestation data between labour type (spontaneous, augmented, induced and planned caesarean section) and delivery modes (vaginal, instrumental vaginal and caesarean section). 2. Associations between labour type, augmentation or induction method, delivery mode and maternal antenatal complications. 3. Multiple regression analysis for influence of age, BMI, parity and labour type on emergency caesarean section outcome. 4. Comparison of maternal, labour and delivery data with NSW state data. Results: Among 457 women, there were higher rates of obesity and spontaneous labour, lower rates of planned caesarean section and augmented labour, and similar rates of induction of labour and emergency caesarean section, compared with NSW. Emergency caesarean section was significantly associated with older age (β = 0.163), and labour augmentation (β = 0.114) and induction (β = 0.169). Labour augmentation with synthetic oxytocin, and induction with balloon catheter, were associated with the highest rates of emergency caesarean section. Conclusion: This large rural town had fewer labour and delivery medical interventions compared with NSW overall. Augmentation and induction of labour contribute to increasing caesarean section rates: directly via associations with emergency caesarean section, and indirectly because previous caesarean section was the most common reason for elective caesarean section.

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