Factors influencing maternal perception of uterine contractions.

Research paper by Hope M HM Cottrill, John R JR Barton, John M JM O'brien, Debbie L DL Rhea, Douglas A DA Milligan

Indexed on: 29 May '04Published on: 29 May '04Published in: American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology


The purpose of this study was to assess factors associated with perception of uterine contractions.A database of ambulatory uterine activity monitoring was examined. All patients having singleton pregnancies evaluated between March 1997 and March 2002 were eligible for analysis. Data were divided into 4 groups by maternal prepregnancy body mass index (BMI): lean (<20 kg/m(2)), normal (>or=20 to <25 kg/m(2)), overweight (>or=25 to <30 kg/m(2)), and obese (>or=30 kg/m(2)). The percentage of contractions perceived during observation was compared between groups. Variables interrogated included maternal weight and parity. Statistical analysis included t test, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and linear regression.Data from 7808 patients (556,382 hr) were analyzed. A significant reduction in perception of contractions occurred with increasing BMI between each classification, P <.001. A significant reduction in perception of contractions was also noted between nulliparous and multiparous patients at each weight classification, P <.001.Obese, nulliparous patients have the greatest difficulty perceiving contractions. Such data may help explain unattended birth or late presentation for care in this group.