Skip to main content

The initiation of labour at term gestation: physiology and practice implications.

Hundley, V., Downe, S. and Buckley, S., 2020. The initiation of labour at term gestation: physiology and practice implications. Best Practice and Research: Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 67 (August), 4-18.

Full text available as:

Hundley Downe Buckley Book chapter_accepted.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.


DOI: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2020.02.006


Little is known about the physiology of labour onset at term, and there is a debate about what signs and symptoms should be used to define it. In low resource settings and, particularly, for remote and rural communities, delay in recognising labour onset may mean a delay in seeking a skilled birth attendant. This chapter presents the most recent evidence about the physiology of labour onset, including the complex neuro-hormonal, biophysical, psychological and emotional factors that contribute. The symptoms of labour onset are explored from the perspective of both pregnant women and service providers in a range of sociocultural contexts. Early labour presents challenges for pregnant women, their families, communities and health care professionals. The chapter discusses how maternity care services should be designed, and delivered to ensure that women get the optimum advice and care at the beginning of labour.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Labor Onset, Labor physiology, Labor experiences
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:33482
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:24 Feb 2020 10:19
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:20


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -