Induced labor no more likely to go wrong: study

Interested in home birth, hospital birth or private midwifery care? Questions or comments? Email Melissa Maimann or call 0400 418 448. An article from "Obstetrics and Gynecology" that contradicts other research in the area of inductions.

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Choosing induced labor is just as safe for first-time pregnant women as waiting for labor to start spontaneously, new research hints.

The number of women who have labor induction ... has been climbing steadily in recent years ...

At the same time ... concerns have grown that induction for non-medical reasons could lead to more unplanned Cesarean sections and complications such as bleeding.

"For women who have a favorable cervix there was no difference in the C-section rate between those who were induced and those with expectant management,” said Dr. Sarah Osmundson ...

... Eventually, almost one in five ended up requiring induction, mostly because they reached 41 weeks of pregnancy. Normally, pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks.

Not quite: normal pregnancy lasts up to 42 weeks.

In the “wait-and see” group, 20 percent of the women ended up with a C-section, compared to 21 percent of those who had elective induction. Bleeding after delivery occurred in about three and four percent, respectively.

... women who had induced labor spent nearly 13 hours at the hospital, whereas the other group spent only nine hours ...

“The bigger point is the women who were induced spent a lot more time in labor,” said Osmundson, adding that the extra time was likely to translate into higher healthcare costs.

And more interventions in labour, more vaginal examinations, continuous monitoring, more epidurals, more assisted births (forceps and vacuums), a drip etc.

Another study, published along with the first one in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, did find a higher C-section rate and more bleeding in first-time pregnant women with elective labor.

... She added that the new findings were interesting, but that they didn’t convince her.

“I would discourage elective induction unless there is a reason we can put our hands on,” ...

“What I tell my patients is, I will let you go until 10 days past your due date unless something comes up for mom or the baby...

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448