American Academy of Nursing

View all recommendations from this society

Released October 16, 2014

Don’t automatically initiate continuous electronic fetal heart rate (FHR) monitoring during labor for women without risk factors; consider intermittent auscultation (IA) first.

Continuous electronic FHR monitoring during labor, a routine procedure in many hospitals, is associated with an increase in cesarean and instrumental births without improving Apgar score, NICU admission or intrapartum fetal death rates. IA allows women more freedom of movement during labor, enhancing their ability to cope with labor pain and utilize gravity to promote labor progress. Upright positions and walking have been associated with shorter duration of first stage labor, fewer cesareans and reduced epidural use.


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a health professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician or nurse.

How The List Was Created

The American Academy of Nursing has convened a workgroup of member fellows who are leaders of professional nursing organizations representing a broad range of clinical expertise, practice settings and patient populations. The workgroup collaboratively identifies nursing/interdisciplinary interventions commonly used in clinical practice that do not contribute to improved patient outcomes or provide high value. An extensive literature search and review of practice guidelines is conducted for each new proposed recommendation for the list. The supporting evidence is then reviewed by the respective nursing organization(s) with the most relevant expertise to each recommendation. The Academy workgroup fellows narrow the recommendations through consensus, based on established criteria. The final recommendations are presented to the American Academy of Nursing’s Board of Directors for approval to be added to the Choosing Wisely list created by the Academy.

The American Academy of Nursing’s conflict of interests and disclosures policy can be found at www.AANnet.org.

Sources

Alfirevic Z, Devane D, Gyte GM. Continuous cardiotocography (CTG) as a form of electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) for fetal assessment during labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 May 31;5:CD006066.

Creedon D, Akkerman D, Atwood L, Bates L, Harper C, Levin A, McCall C, Peterson D, Rose C, Setterlund L, Walkes B, Wingeier R. Management of labor. Bloomington (MN): Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI); 2013 Mar. 66 p.

Lawrence A, Lewis L, Hofmeyr GJ, Styles C. Maternal positions and mobility during first stage labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Oct 9;10:CD003934.