Inducing Labor Early Could Protect Babies in the Long Run

Here's something moms aren't used to hearing: inducing labor could be good for your baby. Surprised? Us too. But a huge study in Denmark found that inducing labor at 37 weeks could actually be really good for your baby's health -- it could even save their life.


The study, which was published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, analyzed 800,000 babies born between 2000 and 2012 in Denmark, where a quarter of women pregnant beyond 37 weeks are induced. 

Babies born during that time were more likely to survive through their first month -- instances of neonatal death decreased from 1.9 to one per 1,000 births. There was also a 23 percent drop in the number of babies born with complications associated with oxygen intake, and the incidence rate of cerebral palsy decreased by 26 percent. That's a pretty big deal, no?

More from The Stir: Inducing Labor: 6 Questions to Ask Your OB/GYN

Of course, inducing labor isn't the right option for everyone. In the United States, only about 23 percent of labors are induced, and right now, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that labor should only be induced when it's more risky for the baby to remain in the mother's uterus than be born.

Regardless, inducing is something to talk to your doctor about, and if they suggest it for other reasons, this study may give you comfort.

What would it take for you to ask for an induction?


Image via Monkey Business Images/shutterstock

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