The Potential Role of Wearable Inertial Sensors in Laboring Women with Walking E

The Potential Role of Wearable Inertial Sensors in Laboring Women with Walking Epidural Analgesia

Dziadzko M, Péneaud A, Bouvet L, Robert T, Fradet L, Desseauve D.

PMID: 38544167

There is a growing interest in wearable inertial sensors to monitor and analyze the movements of pregnant women. The noninvasive and discrete nature of these sensors, integrated into devices accumulating large datasets, offers a unique opportunity to study the dynamic changes in movement patterns during the rapid physical transformations induced by pregnancy. However, the final cut of the third trimester of pregnancy, particularly the first stage of labor up to delivery, remains underexplored. The growing popularity of "walking epidural", a neuraxial analgesia method allowing motor function preservation, ambulation, and free movement throughout labor and during delivery, opens new opportunities to study the biomechanics of labor using inertial sensors. Critical research gaps exist in parturient fall prediction and detection during walking epidural and understanding pain dynamics during labor, particularly in the presence of pelvic girdle pain. The analysis of fetal descent, upright positions, and their relationship with dynamic pelvic movements facilitated by walking during labor is another area where inertial sensors can play an interesting role. Moreover, as contemporary obstetrics advocate for less restricted or non-restricted movements during labor, the role of inertial sensors in objectively measuring the quantity and quality of women's movements becomes increasingly important. This includes studying the impact of epidural analgesia on maternal mobility, walking patterns, and associated obstetrical outcomes. In this paper, the potential use of wearable inertial sensors for gait analysis in the first stage of labor is discussed.

Keywords: biomechanics; gait analysis; labor; prediction; sensors; walking epidural.

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