WHO recommendation on intravenous fluids for preventing labour delay

Pregnant woman receiving intravenous oxytocin.

WHO recommendation on intravenous fluids for preventing labour delay

 

Recommendation

The use of intravenous fluids with the aim of shortening the duration of labour is not recommended.

(Not recommended)

 

Publication history

First published: February 2018

Updated: No update planned

Assessed as up-to-date: February 2018 

 

Remarks

  • This recommendation has been integrated from the WHO recommendations for augmentation of labour, in which the GDG for that guideline determined it to be a strong recommendation based on very low-quality evidence.  
  • The GDG did not recommend this intervention on the basis of no clear evidence of benefits over harms. The group noted that the risk of maternal fluid overload, particularly when intravenous oxytocin infusion becomes indicated during the course of labour, might become accentuated.  
  • The GDG agreed that low-risk women should be encouraged to drink fluids during labour.  
  • The GDG acknowledged that intravenous (IV) fluid may become necessary for other indications and for supportive care in labour even for low-risk women.  
  • The GDG placed its emphasis on the widespread and unnecessary use of routine administration of IV fluids for all women in labour and many health care facilities in low-, middle- and high-income settings that increases cost, has considerable impact on the resource use and reduces women’s mobility, and therefore made a strong recommendation against this intervention.
  • The evidence supporting this recommendation is available at:

WHO recommendation on the use of intravenous fluids with the aim of shortening the duration of labour

http://who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/112826/1/WHO_RHR_14.15_eng.pdf

 

Related links

WHO recommendations on intrapartum care for a positive childbirth experience

(2018) - full document and evidence tables

Managing Complications in Pregnancy and Childbirth: A guide for midwives and doctors

Pregnancy, Childbirth, Postpartum and Newborn Care: A guide for essential practice

WHO Programmes: Sexual and Reproductive health

Maternal Health