Effects of valsalva manoeuvre on maternal and fetal wellbeing

Caroline J. Hollins Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this article is to relate basic findings from research papers to identify the effects that valsalva manoeuvre ('purple pushing') has upon maternal and fetal wellbeing. Analysis of 16 papers revealed four main consequences from purple pushing. These include: an increase in fetal distress; maternal distress; and perineal trauma, when compared with spontaneous pushing. Valsalva manoeuvre also makes little difference to length of second stage. Key conclusions from this literature review are that women should be encouraged to push instinctively, which often embraces natural vocalization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-285
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Midwifery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2009


  • midwifery
  • foetal wellbeing
  • maternal wellbeing


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