May 19, 2021

Failure to Progress In Labor with Dr. Nicole Calloway Rankins

Failure to progress in labor. Can we all agree this is a horrible name and can impact someone’s view of their ability to give birth!

For years, birthing people have been expected to follow “Freidman’s Curve” a standard set by a trial of only 500 participants conducted nearly 50 years ago. Recently, ACOG has set new standards. Unfortunately many hospitals and practices have been slow to put these new standards into practice.

In this episode of Yoga|Birth|Babies, I am thrilled to bring back board-certified, practicing OB/GYN and mom of 2, Dr. Nicole Calloway Rankins to discuss the parameters of “Failure to progress” and it’s impact unplanned cesareans. Nicole lays out what is considered “normal labor” and why it’s important not jump to declaring arrested labor before active labor starts at 6cm. She also shares factors that may be influencing longer labors and strategies care providers, nurses, and doulas have to help labor progress. 

In this episode you will learn: 

  • About Dr. Rankins and what led her to obstetrics. 
  • The definition of “failure to progress”  
  • How using the term “failure to progress” can leave a birthing person feeling like their body failed them. 
  • What it means to be labeled “failure to progress”
  • An explanation of “Freidman’s Curve” and how that became the standard to judge labor progress.
  • What is considered “normal labor”
  • The new ACOG standard of waiting until 6 cm and entering active labor instead of using “Friedman’s Curve” to jump “failure to progress.” Is this being honored in most hospitals? 
  • The importance of fetal position in longer, slower labors.
  • Factors that may influence a long labor.
  • Ways support people and care providers can help facilitate labor progress if things are progressing slowly.
  • How to negotiate removing scheduling pressures from labor. 
  • Risks of long labors.
  • The importance of allowing extra time in the first and second stage of labor should someone have an epidural. 
  • A tip/piece of advice Dr. Rankins has for new or expecting parents.
  • Where you can find Nicole’s work.

About Dr. Nicole Calloway Rankins:

Dr. Nicole Calloway Rankins is a board-certified, practicing OB/GYN and mom of 2 who empowers first time moms to feel supported and prepared for pregnancy and birth. Over the last 15 years she’s helped more than 1,000 babies come into this world and has demystified pregnancy and childbirth for thousands more women through her 5-star rated All About Pregnancy & Birth podcast, her free online birth plan class, and her signature online program – The Birth Preparation Course. Visit her website and follow her on Instagram @drnicolerankins.


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