Labour assessment of women is crucial to identify potential complications and take timely action to ensure safe delivery. Because Childbirth is a transformative event that brings joy and excitement. It can also pose risks to both the mother and the child.


In this article, we will discuss the importance of assessing the status of mother and child during delivery. We will also highlight the key parameters that healthcare providers monitor during delivery and the potential implications of abnormal findings. We will discuss communication and documentation in assessment for effective coordination among healthcare providers and accurate documentation.

In this section, we will discuss the labour assessment of women.

Assessment of the Mother

Continuous assessment of the mother during delivery ensures her stability and safe progress of delivery. The following are the key assessments that should be performed on the mother:


Vital Signs Assessment

Regularly check the mother’s vital signs during labor and delivery admission assessment: blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate, and temperature. Ensure the absence of complications like hypertension or fever, which can endanger both mother and baby.

Evaluation of Cervical Dilation and Effacement

Assessing the cervical dilation and effacement helps to determine the progress of labor. Assess the cervix’s opening and thinness to estimate the proximity of delivery.

Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring

Fetal heart rate monitoring is a key assessment of women in labour during delivery. Identify distress or changes in the baby’s heart rate to indicate oxygen deficiency. Monitor the baby’s heart rate using an electronic fetal monitor or handheld Doppler device.

Contraction Pattern Evaluation

The healthcare provider will assess the frequency, duration, and intensity of contractions to ensure that labor is progressing appropriately. Weak contractions hinder delivery, while strong and frequent contractions exhaust the mother.

Maternal Pain Assessment

Pain is a common symptom during labor and delivery. Assess the mother’s pain levels to address pain relief and underlying issues.

We discussed the assessment of the mother now let’s discuss the assessment of the child:

Assessment of the Child

Assessment of the child during delivery evaluates the baby’s physical condition during delivery: heart rate, breathing, muscle tone, reflexes, and color.

Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring

During labor and delivery, fetal heart rate monitoring is an essential part of assessing the well-being of the baby. This can be done either externally or internally, depending on the clinical situation. External method: ultrasound transducer detects fetal heart rate; internal method: fetal scalp electrode. Fetal heart rate monitoring baby’s heart rate and rhythm and detects distress or potential problems.

Evaluation of Fetal Position and Presentation

The position and presentation of the baby are another important aspect of assessing the baby’s well-being during delivery. The position refers to the baby’s orientation in the uterus, such as whether they are head-down or breech, while the presentation refers to the part of the baby that is coming out first, such as the head or buttocks. Knowing the baby’s position and presentation can help healthcare providers anticipate any potential problems during delivery.

Evaluation of Amniotic Fluid

The amniotic fluid is the liquid that surrounds the baby in the uterus. During labor and delivery, healthcare providers will assess the volume and quality of the amniotic fluid to ensure that it is clear and free of meconium (the baby’s first stool). If there are any signs of meconium in the amniotic fluid, this can indicate that the baby is under stress and may require special attention after delivery.

Evaluation of Fetal Response to Contractions

As labour progresses, the baby will experience the pressure of the contractions as the uterus contracts and relaxes. Healthcare providers will assess the baby’s response to these contractions, looking for signs of distress such as changes in the fetal heart rate or decreased fetal movement. If there are any concerns about the baby’s response to contractions, healthcare providers may adjust the mother’s position or recommend interventions such as oxygen therapy or emergency delivery.

Evaluation of Fetal Oxygenation

Finally, healthcare providers will also evaluate the baby’s oxygenation status during delivery. This can be assessed through fetal heart rate monitoring, as well as through other methods such as fetal blood sampling or pulse oximetry. If the baby is not getting enough oxygen, this can indicate that there are problems with the placenta or umbilical cord, or that the baby is experiencing distress.

Other Fetal Assessments

In addition to the above assessments, there are other tests and assessments of mothers in Labour that may be done as needed, depending on the clinical situation. For example, healthcare providers may do a scalp pH test to assess the baby’s acid-base balance or perform a fetal scalp stimulation test to assess the baby’s neurologic status.

In this section we will discuss communication and documentation requirements for assessing mother and child during delivery : 

Communication and Documentation

During delivery, clear communication and accurate documentation are essential for ensuring the safety and well-being of both mother and child. Effective communication between healthcare providers can help to identify potential problems early and allow for timely interventions. Accurate and timely documentation is also important for tracking changes in maternal and fetal status and for ensuring continuity of care.

Importance of Clear Communication

Clear communication between healthcare providers is critical during delivery, as it allows for the exchange of important information and promotes effective decision-making. This can help to prevent adverse outcomes and ensure that appropriate interventions are implemented in a timely manner.

One way to promote clear communication is through the use of a structured handoff process. A structured handoff involves the transfer of patient information between healthcare providers in a standardized and consistent manner. This can help to ensure that important information is not missed and that all healthcare providers are aware of any changes in the patient’s status.

Importance of Accurate and Timely Documentation

Accurate and timely documentation is essential during delivery, as it provides a permanent record of the mother and child’s condition and can help to ensure continuity of care. Documentation should include all relevant information, such as vital signs, cervical dilation and effacement, fetal heart rate monitoring, and maternal pain assessment.


In summary, labour assessment of women is crucial to ensure safe and successful delivery. Healthcare providers should continuously monitor the mother’s vital signs, cervical dilation, fetal heart rate, contraction pattern, and pain levels. They should also assess the position and presentation of the baby, amniotic fluid, fetal response to contractions, and fetal oxygenation. Clear communication and accurate documentation are also essential for effective coordination among healthcare providers and for tracking changes in maternal and fetal status. By conducting thorough and regular assessments and communicating effectively, healthcare providers can identify potential complications early and take timely action to ensure a safe and successful delivery.

Further Reading

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1 Comment

Kaviya · May 29, 2023 at 1:18 am

By reading the article on the assessment of women in labour, I have gained valuable insights into the importance of assessing both the mother and child, as well as the significance of effective communication and documentation in this process

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