Introduction: The duration of labor and the immediate puerperium are affected by obstetric and maternal-fetal factors. Interventions to provide obstetric analgesia may prolong the hospital stay. Objective: To characterize the procedure for obstetric analgesia and describe the time elapsed between analgesia and delivery and postpartum surveillance in healthy mothers. Methods: Observational, descriptive trial. The time elapsed between analgesia and delivery, and postpartum surveillance were measured in healthy pregnant women with vaginal delivery and a prescription of a neuraxial analgesia technique. Results: 226 patients were included. The mean time elapsed between analgesia an delivery was 4 hours (IQR 3-7). 50.7 % (n = 114) received early analgesia (neuraxial technique with ≥ 4 centimeters of cervical dilatation), of which 48.2 % (n = 109) experienced a duration of analgesia until delivery longer than expected. The mean cervical dilatation at the time of the neuraxial approach was 4 centimeters (IQR 4-6) and the epidural technique was the most frequently used - 92.9 % (n = 210). The mean postpartum surveillance was 20 hours (IQR 15-27). Conclusions: Half of the patients included received early analgesia and around fifty percent of them took longer than expected in completing delivery. The postpartum surveillance time was consistent with the provisions of the Ministry of Health and with the current trend of a short postpartum surveillance aimed at early hospital discharge and the benefits thereof.
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