Scheduled deliveries increase risks for mums, do not benefit newborns

February 19th, 2011 - 12:51 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb 19 (ANI): A new study has suggested that inducing labor without a medical reason is linked with negative outcomes for mothers, including high rates of cesarean delivery, greater blood loss and longer stay in the hospital, and it has no benefit for the newborns too.

As the number of scheduled deliveries continues to climb, it is important for physicians and mothers-to-be to understand the risks associated with elective induction, states the University of Rochester Medical Center study.

The new findings, however, apply to women having their first child, and may not pertain to women having their second or third child.

“The benefits of a procedure should always outweigh the risks. If there aren’t any medical benefits to inducing labor, it is hard to justify doing it electively when we know it increases the risks for the mother and the baby,” said study author Christopher Glantz of the Maternal Fetal Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

While physicians and patients alike may assume that inducing labor is harmless, it does not work as well as natural labor: Since you are essentially starting the birthing process from ground zero, more problems are likely to arise.

“As a working professional and a mother, I know how tempting it can be to schedule a delivery to try to get your life in order, but there is a reason that babies stay in the womb for the full term. Why put you and your newborn at risk if you don’t have to?” said Loralei Thornburg, a maternal fetal medicine specialist.

Researchers found that approximately 34 percent of women who opted for elective induction of labor ultimately had a cesarean section, while only 20 percent of women who labored naturally underwent a cesarean delivery.

Additionally, women who were induced had more bleeding-even after taking cesarean deliveries into account-and stayed in the hospital longer than women who delivered vaginally.

While scheduled deliveries present multiple risks for the mother, researchers also found that they did not improve the health of newborns either. When women were induced, their babies were more likely to need oxygen immediately following delivery. They were also more likely to require specialized attention from members of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

The findings have been published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine. (ANI)

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