Labouring position of women who have had an epidural (the BUMPES study)

There is uncertainty whether different positions adopted by women with epidural analgesia, in the late stages of labour, can assist women in having a straightforward delivery.

Investigators: Professor Peter Brocklehurst (UCL), Annette Briley, Professor Geraldine O’Sullivan, Professor Andrew Shennan, Professor Debra Bick

Summary: There is uncertainty whether different positions adopted by women with epidural analgesia, in the late stages of labour, can assist women in having a straightforward delivery. The BUMPES trial has finished recruitment of more than 3,000 women in labour (with their first baby) who have had an epidural. The trial, which is now being analysed, will evaluate whether adopting an ‘upright position’ throughout the second stage of labour favours spontaneous vaginal (i.e. normal) delivery compared with a policy of adopting a ‘lying down’ position. The trial will also compare the length of time labour takes and the level of satisfaction with the experience for women.

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