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Open Access Research article

Labour management and Obstetric outcomes among pregnant women admitted in latent phase compared to active phase of labour at Bugando Medical Centre in Tanzania

Clotrida Chuma1, Albert Kihunrwa12, Dismas Matovelo1* and Marietha Mahendeka12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Catholic University of Health & Allied sciences, P.O.BOX 1464, Mwanza, Tanzania

2 Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Bugando Medical Centre, P.O.BOX 1370, Mwanza, Tanzania

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BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2014, 14:68  doi:10.1186/1471-2393-14-68

Published: 12 February 2014



Interventions given to women admitted in latent or active phase of labor may influence the outcomes of labor and ameliorate complications which can affect the mother and fetus. Labour management, maternal and fetal outcomes among low risk women presenting both in latent phase and active phase of labour in Tanzania have not recently been explored.


This was a descriptive cross-sectional study. It was done from February to April 2013. Case notes were collected serially until the sample size was reached. A structured checklist was used to extract data. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 17. A p < 0.05 was considered significant at 95% confidence interval.


Five hundred case notes of low risk pregnant women were collected, half of each presented in latent phase and active phase of labour. Key interventions including augmentation with oxytocin, artificial rupture of membranes and caesarean section were significantly higher in the latent phase group than the active phase group 84(33.6%) versus 52(20.8%) p < 0.05; 96(38.6%) versus 56(22.4%) p < 0.05 and 87(34.8%) versus 60(24.0%) p < 0.05 respectively. Spontaneous vertex delivery was higher among pregnant women admitted initially in active phase than in latent phase groups 180(72.0%), versus 153(61.2%) p > 0.01). There were more women in the active phase group who sustained genital tract tear and postpartum haemorrhage than in the latent phase group 101(18.6%), versus 38(15.6%) p < 0.01 and 46(18.4%), versus 17(6.6%) p < 0.05 respectively.


Pregnant women admitted at BMC in latent phase of labour are subjected to more obstetric interventions than those admitted in the active phase. There is need to produce guidelines on management of women admitted in latent phase of labour at BMC to reduce the risk of unnecessary interventions.

Latent phase of labour; Active phase of labour; Interventions; Low risk pregnancy