A new study has found that glucose supplements given to women during childbirth, especially for the first birth, may shorten the labour time. A prolonged labour, or a failure to progress, is a labour which takes more than 20 hours for first-time mothers and more than 14 hours for mothers who have given birth before. It is not only defined by the duration, it is regarded as prolonged as cervical dilation takes place at less than 1 centimetre per hour. And prolonged labour can be harmful to maternal and foetal health. As per findings, because glucose supplementation is known to improve muscle performance, adding glucose to the intravenous hydration solution women receive during childbirth could accelerate labour. Around 200 pregnant women were randomly assigned for the study to receive either a standard hydration solution containing salt and water or a solution containing glucose, salt and water. The results showed that the median duration of labour was 76 minutes shorter in the group of women who had received glucose during chilbirth. However, “there was no difference in the mode of delivery — caesarean section, forceps, etc. — or the neonatal well-being measures,” Pare said. Thus, being a low-cost and safe intervention, glucose should be the solute of choice during labour, the researchers recommended. The findings will be presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting, in Quebec.