Induced Labor Linked to Raised Risks for First-Time Moms

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I'd like for my readers to appreciate that there is a place for inductions for some women in some pregnancies. And in those pregnancies, an induction might be the best course of action for the mother or the baby - eg pre-eclempsia, gestational diabetes that is not well-controlled, a post-term pregnancy and many other reasons. Certainly, an induction because it's Tuesday and it fits into the diary is not a good idea. There should be a clear clinical need for all inductions - they are interventions and there should be a valid reason to intervene in any pregnancy.

If your midwife or obstetrician has advised that an induction will be the safest course of action, then this advice needs to be balanced against the information below (and any other information you might learn). If you are unsure, please talk to your midwife or obstetrician and ask them why they have recommended an induction. If you are still unsure, you may wish to seek a second opinion from another midwife or obstetrician.

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The increasingly commonplace decision by pregnant women and their doctors to induce labor for convenience rather than for medical necessity entails some health risks to both mother and child ...

The new report, which highlights the negative impact of what is known as "elective induction" for first-time mothers, indicates that going that route increases the chances of a Cesarean delivery, while also boosting the mother's risk for greater loss of blood and a longer post-delivery hospital stay.

"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."

... about one-third of those who elected to have labor induced had to undergo a Cesarean section compared with just one-fifth of those who were not induced.

... In addition, babies born after induced labor appeared to face a higher risk for needing oxygen following delivery and special care in the neonatal intensive care unit.

The study authors noted that women who had previously given birth might not suffer the same negative consequences ... your body knows the drill and can do it again," ...

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