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Scheduled deliveries raise risks for mothers, do not benefit newborns
Date:2/18/2011

ately 34 percent of women who opted for elective induction of labor ultimately had a cesarean section, while only 20 percent of women who labored naturally underwent a cesarean delivery. Like elective induction, cesarean delivery navely may be seen as routine and risk-free, when in fact it is a major surgery and like all surgeries increases the risk of infection, respiratory complications, the need for additional surgeries, and results in longer recovery times.

Additionally, women who were induced had more bleeding even after taking cesarean deliveries into account and stayed in the hospital longer than women who delivered vaginally. Study authors calculate that for every 100 women who undergo elective induction, they spend an additional 88 days in the hospital compared to the same number of women who labor spontaneously. Although this may translate into only a matter of hours for some women, it represents increased costs for both the mother and the hospital when multiplied by large numbers of induced labors.

"Counseling women to steer clear of an elective induction can be challenging, but the bottom line is that medical reasons trump social reasons," said Eva Pressman, M.D., director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at the Medical Center. "If physicians are armed with information about the risks associated with elective induction they have a better chance of convincing their patients to avoid this route."

While scheduled deliveries present multiple risks for the mother, researchers also found that they did not improve the health of newborns either. When women were induced, their babies were more likely to need oxygen immediately following delivery. They were also more likely to require specialized attention from members of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

The study included 485 women who delivered their first child between January and December of 2007 at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The major strength of th
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Contact: Emily Boynton
emily_boynton@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-1757
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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