Magee-Womens Hospital ... recently won a first-place achievement award ... for achievements in researching and improving the process for elective induction of a woman's labor.
... a team ... led the initiative, recognizing the negative consequences of electively inducing labor upon mothers' requests.
Over a 15 year period, from 1989 to 2004, elective inductions in the U.S. saw a four-fold increase, escalating from 9 percent of expectant mothers in 1989 to 21 percent in 2004. Premature or inappropriate inductions-those prior to 39 weeks gestation-can lead to complications including an increased risk of cesarean birth, longer and more complicated labor, and higher risk of admission to a neonatal intensive care unit for the newborn.
To address these issues ... [the] team developed stricter guidelines and criteria for electively inducing labor before the pregnancy comes to term, with only situations involving an unwell mother or infant warranting an early induction. Since the beginning of this initiative ... [elective induction rates have fallen from ] 12 percent to zero.
Can we do the same here with our caesarean and induction rates? I think it could be achieved easily if all doctors were required to send women for a second opinion with a midwife before an induction or elective caesarean can be approved. I also think that it is in line with the Health Minister's recommendation of providing collaborative care to women.