Inducing Labor Just Got Riskier

This Just In 33

labor delivery roomWe don't take bread out of the oven before it is ready. Why on Earth do we do it to babies? There are definitely very good reasons some mothers must induce and give birth before it's time -- and in those cases it can save lives. But for all the other times, it can actually put lives at risk. The final weeks of your pregnancy is a critical time for baby's growth.

There are many risks that come with early delivery. A new study has shown that even giving birth a week before baby is considered full-term carries a much greater risk than you may have expected.

Full-term is considered 39 to 41 weeks; early-term 37 to 38 weeks, and preterm is anything before 37 weeks. Many of us get out of that preemie range with a sigh of relief but we still want to keep baby inside until at least 39 weeks and it's due to this alarming statement: Morbidity rates were lowest at week 39 to 40.

More from The Stir: Inducing Labor Could Hurt Your Baby More Than You Know

That's enough of a statement for me to champion waiting and saying no to Pitocin (which could be harmful to your baby). But there's more.

Dr. Shaon Sengupta, MD, MPH, and her team of researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia found that those early-term babies -- born at 37 to 38 weeks -- had a 64 percent greater chance of being in the NICU, and more than four times the risk of intubation or problem with breathing. Sengupta urges doctors to "recognize early term (37 to 38 weeks) neonates as a higher-risk group." She adds that the risk "is more profound with cesarean section deliveries but exists for vaginal deliveries as well. At this point, it is a matter of targeting elective C-section and induced labor and establishing clear and consistent indications in nonelective cases."

Elective c-sections are thankfully starting to get banned in hospitals across this country, but until they are banned in all, and some doctors stop pushing cesareans on women, our infant mortality rates will be higher than they should be. And for a country that is so advanced, we sure are lacking in the maternal and infant care department.

Are you concerned about your doctor wanting to induce? What do you think of these findings?


Image via george ruiz/Flickr

c-sections, delivery, labor & delivery, labor, natural parenting


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Taisie Taisie

I wasn't aware that you could have an "elective" cesarean. I  thought they were only done in emergencies for the first birth, and then done in births after that due to risk of uterine rupture during labor and/or birth. And yes, I do realize that many women give birth vaginally after a cesarean, but the risk is still a valid reason for cesareans and therefore I would not consider it an "elective" surgery.

Maybe someone could "educate" me?

nonmember avatar allie

i dont understand why elective c sections exist. because some people dont wanna be pregnant too long!? because they are sick of it at that point or "big enough". i say tough cookies! you want a baby then you carry it until it comes out. no opting for c sections because your " too posh to push" cmon people. pregnancy is tough. its messy and it takes a toll on you. just stick it out for your kid. inductions are fine if they are post due date. but why a doctor thinks its ok to cut bqck gestation time because mom is uncomfortable or some other sorry excuse is just stupid.

EmmaF... EmmaFromEire

We get it, you're the novelty crunchy woman here, but stop spewing crap about inductions and cesaerians, it's getting old.

Krystian Kaufold

Allie, my doctors are looking into inductions for me, because I am too high risk, with twins, the blood clotting that I have. I won't be allowed to go past 36 weeks this pregnancy. 

FYI, I was 37 weeks when I delivered my oldest, and she was considered full term. Nothing else, nothing more. 

I am being induced this pregnancy. I don't have a choice, but this is what is best for me and my family. But I will not be getting a c section.

B1Bomber B1Bomber

I was one of the necessary early inductions, going into organ failure caused by my severe pre-e. My doctor waited as long as he could to give DS as much time in the womb as possible, but eventually, the risks got too high to wait longer.

My second was a full-term medically necessary (though not emergency) csection.

caleb... calebsmama12312

I really do believe pitocin is harmful. I was leaking fluid & one dr told me my water broke, but then later I was told it wasn't & they broke it. They put me on pitocin without my knowledge ( I was told the i.v was just fluids bc I was dehydrated. My son's heart rate started dropping like crazy & I ended up having to have an emergency cessarian. This was at 37 weeks. I can't ever know for sure if it was the pitocin. His chord was around his chest & I guess it could have been bc I was leaking fluid, but I never want pitocin again. Also I myself would never chose a cessarian, I can't understand why you would want to be cut open but that's just me.

Fondue Fondue

EmmafromEire, if you're tired of reading things about non-necessary medical interventions during birth, then stop clicking on the damn articles.  Stick to reading the Kardashian stories.

Taisie Taisie

Wow, Hello07, why would you say something that hateful to me? It bothers you so much that  I use proper punctuation that you need to call me a "twat"? 

That was just mean and uncalled for.

Arian... AriannaBadwolf

I was induced at 35 and a half weeks. I guess it was because I had ruptured or something? We were playing at Chuck E Cheese, and my water broke. Maybe I wasn't doing what I should have, but its hard to know what you shouldn't do, if its just something normal like throwing a ball.

My son ended up in the NICU for a while. It SUCKED.

I am also one of those people who think that making a c section appointment because you don't want to do the pushing and omg ruin your poor little lady bits is so stupid. People who think they can plan their babies are ridiculous, and in the case of the lady I knew who did this, only looking for a way to get her tummy tucked a little bit.  (I hear more and more from the ladies planning their kids birthdays that they want a c section so that their baby bellies go flat quicker or whatever?)

Getting it done for emergency purposes, or even out of concern medically is fine. Your looking out for the life of your child and yourself... not trying to make things easier on you. If you wanted it easy, you shouldn't be having a baby. Easy is NOT in the job description.

nonmember avatar Sarah

This article is NOT CRAP! It is based on facts and although they should put some statistics in here, it is informative. The author may just open the eyes of an elective c section mom and save her and her baby from something. I was in a car accident in 2010, 2 weeks before my due date and although I had no serious injuries I was kept for 24 hours under observation in Yale's maternity ward. During these 24 hours they tried convincing me that I needed to be induced in case if placenta abruption happened. It started with "Ok, so we will induce" and when I said no, they tried everything they could to get it done. My baby was perfectly fine, I was perfectly fine and everything was like it usually is. The reason why I refused to begin with was because #1 I wanted a natural birth and #2 they told me that I wasnt allowed to eat anything. When they told me that food was off limits and I asked why they explained that it was in case of a c section. They saw me get nervous and reassured me that if I needed one, the room is right down the hall and was empty in case of an emergency. I talked to the nurse about induction leading to c section and I refused and made sure everyone knew. Thank goodness I did because I didn't give birth for another 4 weeks and she was perfect.

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