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Association between significant decrease in barometric pressure and onset of labor.
King EA; Fleschler RG; Cohen SM
St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
J Nurse Midwifery, 1997 Jan-Feb, 42:1, 32-4

To determine whether there is any correlation between sudden decrease in barometric pressure and onset of labor, a non-experimental, retrospective study at a 948-bed tertiary care hospital was done. Pregnant patients of 36 weeks gestation or more who presented with spontaneous onset of labor during the 48 hours surrounding the 12 occurrences of significant drop in barometric pressure in 1992 were included in the study. Significantly more occurrences of onset of labor were identified in the 24 hours after a drop in barometric pressure than were identified in the 24 hours prior to the drop in barometric pressure (P < 0.05). Therefore, the overall number of labor onsets increased in the 24 hours following a significant drop in barometric pressure.

The effect of changes in atmospheric pressure on the occurrence of the spontaneous onset of labor in term pregnancies.
Noller KL; Resseguie LJ; Voss V
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worchester, USA.
Am J Obstet Gynecol, 1996 Apr, 174:4, 1192-7; discussion 1197-9

OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to determine whether there is a relationship between changes in atmospheric pressure and spontaneous onset of labor in term pregnancy. STUDY DESIGN: All women admitted to Medical Center of Central Massachusetts-Memorial Hospital with spontaneous onset of labor at term and who were delivered on the service during a 12-month period represent the cohort for this study. Each maternal chart was abstracted to ensure that each member of the cohort met the inclusion criteria. Hourly recordings of atmospheric pressure made at the Worcester Station of the National Weather Service, Department of Commerce, were used as the meteorologic data points of interest. Least-squares regression was used to determine an equation that expresses the probability of the onset of labor in this cohort as a function of gestational age, which was used to calculate expected numbers for the statistical analyses. Two relationships were studied: (1) the ratio of the observed to the expected number of onsets of labor and (2) the initiation of labor and atmospheric pressure changes in the preceding 3 hours. RESULTS: Three-hour periods of falling atmospheric pressure were less often followed by initiation of labor than were the periods with other types of pressure sequences. No association was observed between the onset of labor and days of low mean pressure. CONCLUSION: Although there was an observed statistically significant association between falling barometric pressure and onset of labor, the magnitude of the difference is not of clinical significance.

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