Sometimes during labour and birth, things seem to slow down, or plateau for a while (for example, intense and regular labour surges might space out and get weaker, or even disappear altogheter).
In contemporary maternity care, such plateaus are usually interpreted as unhealthy (pathological), and women who experience plateaus commonly receive a medical treatment called 'augmentation' to speed things up again. Despite being associated with a range of unwanted side-effects, labour augmentation is very common in clinical birth settings. However, new evidence shows that plateaus can occur naturally during labour and help keeping mum and baby strong and healthy during childbirth.
This is why I am researching physiological plateaus, througout my doctoral studies, and beyond. This reseach helps to clarify the difference between pathologically slow labour and physiological plateaus, which can help to prevent unnecessary and harmful interventions and contribute to improve the health and wellbeing of mothers, infants, and families.