Scheduled deliveries of no benefit


Voluntarily inducing labor has long been controversial. Now a new study shows that there is no medical or physiological benefit to mother or baby.

Increased rates of cesarean, greater blood loss and an extended stay in the hospital as well as no discernible benefit to baby or mother makes the practice questionable. As the number of scheduled deliveries and cesareans continue to increase, the risks inherent in doing so are often not discussed and need to be. The findings are published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine and apply particularly to first time moms.

“The benefits of the 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 Christopher Glantz, MD, MPH, study author and professor of Maternal Fetal Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Doctors and patients should not assume this popular procedure is safe. “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,” said Loralei Thornburg, ND an assistant professor who specialized in maternal fetal medicine. “Why put your and your newborn at risk if you don’t have to?”

Up to 34% of women who induce labor have cesareans. It’s 20% for naturally occurring labor. A cesarean is major surgery with all the same risks as any other major surgery: infection, respiratory complications, subsequent surgeries and longer recovery time. Women who are induced also have more bleeding -- even more bleeding than cesareans resulting from natural occurring labor.

Source: University of Rochester Medical Center, ScienceDaily


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