Visual biofeedback using transperineal ultrasound in second stage of labor

Y. Gilboa, T. I. Frenkel, Y. Schlesinger, S. Rousseau, D. Hamiel, R. Achiron, S. Perlman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To assess the obstetric and psychological effects of visual biofeedback by transperineal ultrasound (TPU) during the second stage of labor. Methods: This was a prospective, single-center observational study of low-risk nulliparous women with epidural analgesia undergoing vaginal delivery. Visual biofeedback using TPU was provided to 26 women during the second stage of labor. Pushing efficacy was assessed by the change in the angle of progression (AoP) at rest and during pushing efforts, before and after biofeedback. Obstetric outcomes included incidence of perineal tearing, mode of delivery and length of second stage of labor. Psychological outcomes were assessed by self-reported measures obtained during the postnatal hospital stay and included measures of perceived control and maternal satisfaction with childbirth, as well as level of maternal feelings of connectedness with the newborn. Obstetric and psychological results were compared with those of a control group of 69 women who received standard obstetric coaching from midwives. Results: Pushing efficacy increased significantly following visual biofeedback by TPU (P = 0.01), as indicated by a significantly lower delta AoP before (mean, 22.2° (95% CI, 13.9–31.7°)) compared with after (mean, 35.2° (95% CI, 25.9–45.3°)) biofeedback. A significant association was found between visual biofeedback and an intact perineum following delivery (P = 0.03). No significant differences were found between the two groups with regard to mode of delivery or length of the second stage. Feelings of maternal connectedness with the newborn were significantly stronger (P = 0.003) in women who received visual biofeedback than in those who did not. However, perceived control during childbirth and maternal satisfaction with childbirth did not differ significantly between the biofeedback and control groups. Conclusions: This pilot study suggests that biofeedback using TPU may serve as a complementary tool to coached maternal pushing during the second stage of labor, with obstetric as well as psychological benefits. Further studies are required to confirm our findings and define the optimal duration of the intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2018


FundersFunder number
Ziama Arkin Infancy Institute


    • angle of progression
    • biofeedback
    • mother–infant relations
    • second stage of labor
    • transperineal ultrasound


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