August 9, 2022

Early labour: Promoting diverse and woman-centred aspects of women’s early labour experiences and current approaches to early labour care

Special Issue for Women and Birth

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Guest Editors: Prof. Susanne Grylka-Baeschlin, Prof. Helen Cheyne, Prof. Mechthild M. Gross, Prof. Vanora Hundley, Prof. Patricia Janssen, and Prof. Helen Spiby

Submission Deadline: November 1, 2022

Description: Early labour care, as currently provided, has been found to be unsatisfactory for many pregnant women and their labour companions, but it is also challenging for health care providers. Interventions to assess and support early labour have not been demonstrated to improve birth outcomes. Parturient women, their labour companions and maternity care providers have agreed that early labour care is under-researched and a priority topic for further investigation. There is strong evidence that women who are admitted to the hospital early during the labour and birth process, especially those with prolonged early labour, are confronted with more intrapartum interventions and less favourable maternal and infant outcomes. Previous research showed that early labour interventions predominantly focused on changing health care provider response to early labour, rather than on supporting women’s self-management. Meeting the needs of individual women during early labour with standardised procedures is a limitation of current approaches. This gap has been identified and addressed in the midwifery literature in recent years. It is crucial that new knowledge will be shared with to improve clinical practice and as a base for further research.

Submissions: Seeking papers that include:

  • Synthesis of the current concepts; defining and managing early labour.
  • New approaches to early labour care and support, particularly those that increase self-efficacy and empower women.
  • Early labour care in the context of different models of care.
  • Educational initiatives for expectant parents.
  • Education of students, midwives, and other health care providers.
  • Consideration of inclusive approaches to early labour care and support and recognition of diverse experiences.
  • The use of digital technologies to support women and their partners during early labour.
  • Technologies for diagnosis including self-diagnosis of early labour.
  • Early labour- new insights post pandemic.
  • Current definitions of labour progress including the transition between late pregnancy and early labour.

Submissions are preferably original research or review articles that are related to the above-mentioned areas with early labour as a main focus.


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