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July 1, 1988


Author Affiliations

University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Denver

University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Denver

JAMA. 1988;260(1):32. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410010040023

To the Editor.—  During my 35 years of serving on various labor decks, I have noted relatively consistent commands given by labor room staff to prevent the parturients from pushing and delivering in what to them appears to be an inopportune place or time. Depending on the hospital, these commands have been "blow-blow-blow," in another delivery room "breathe-breathebreathe," and in still another "exhaleexhale-exhale." Each institution seems to have its own favorite phrase, but generally the sequences are three or four words, spoken in a monotone and in a repetitive manner. Invariably, the care givers themselves act out their own instructions, such as blowing with each command to blow. I know of no studies that indicate which labor coach's verbal or body techniques are the most effective in preventing bearing down.I have wondered about the reasons for these stereotyped labor room verbal and body commands. Sometimes the goal appears to