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Inducing Labor at 39 Weeks May Benefit Pregnant Women and Their Babies

As the prevalence of maternal and fetal complications increases with advancing pregnancy beyond 39 weeks, induction of labor at 39 weeks has been proposed as a means to ensure optimal maternal and newborn health.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 12:01 am EDT
"We now have enough data from uncomplicated singleton pregnancies to support the finding that induction of labor from 39 weeks' gestation seems a safe and potentially beneficial option for women"

As the prevalence of maternal and fetal complications increases with advancing pregnancy beyond 39 weeks, induction of labor at 39 weeks has been proposed as a means to ensure optimal maternal and newborn health. An Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology analysis of data from five randomized controlled trials found that elective induction of labor in uncomplicated singleton pregnancy from 39 weeks’ gestation is not associated with higher rates of complications and, in fact, may reduce the risk of cesarean section, hypertensive disease of pregnancy, and need for respiratory support in newborns.
 
“We now have enough data from uncomplicated singleton pregnancies to support the finding that induction of labor from 39 weeks' gestation seems a safe and potentially beneficial option for women,” said lead author Dr. Alexandros Sotiriadis, of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in Greece. “Before undertaking induction of labor in low-risk pregnancies, women need to be aware that it can lead to a more prolonged and painful process than spontaneous labor. Maternity services will also need to consider the impact of widespread labor induction on staffing and capacity of labor wards.”

Additional Information

Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/uog.20140

About Journal

The Official Journal of the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISUOG), Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology (UOG) is an international, peer-reviewed journal. Published monthly, the journal includes original papers, case reports, reviews, Editorial and Opinion articles, and a letters column. UOG is covered by all the primary indexes including Index Medicus and Current Contents, and is read by Obstetricians, Gynecologists, Radiologists, Pediatricians, Sonographers, Midwives and Radiographers.

About Wiley

Wiley is a global leader in education and scholarly research. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, combined with our digital learning, assessment and certification solutions help universities, learned societies, businesses, governments and individuals increase the academic and professional impact of their work. For more than 210 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

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