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Induced Labor Late in Pregnancy Has Pros, Cons
Date:5/11/2012

findings mean that for every 1,040 women who undergo induced labor at 40 weeks, one newborn death would be prevented. However, there would also be seven extra admissions to an intensive care baby unit.

Not everyone agreed with the study conclusions, however.

"The authors' conclusion that elective induction of labor at term has the potential to reduce perinatal mortality in developed countries without increasing the risk of operative delivery is probably not true," said Dr. James Ducey, director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City.

He believes that "the best predictor of whether or not an induction of labor will result in an operative delivery is the status of the cervix (opening of the womb) when the induction is begun. This was not looked at in this study. It is highly likely that labor was induced electively only in those women whose cervices were favorable."

The study was published online May 10 in the BMJ.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about inducing labor.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCES: Joanne Stone, M.D., professor, obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City; James Ducey, M.D., director, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Staten Island University Hospital, New York City; BMJ, news release, May 10, 2012


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