A test which could stop women laboring for hours in the hope of a “normal” birth only to end up with a Caesarean section has been developed in Sweden.
Researchers have established that when high levels of lactic acid are measured in the amniotic fluid, it is unlikely the mother will deliver vaginally.
Measuring this acid could help decide whether to end a difficult labor and opt for a Caesarean earlier.
Their studies showed that the uterus produces lactic acid as other muscles do when they work hard, but that when it reaches a certain level the substance starts to inhibit contractions.
The test is being rolled out in a number of European hospitals and is currently not available in the U.S.
J. Kyle Mathews, MD
Plano OBGyn Associates
Plano Urogynecology Associates