by Cassandra R. Elias
A University of Adelaide study has concluded that inducing labor when it is not medically necessary is more likely to result in an increase in birth complications.
The study was recently published in the Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavic. Dr. Roalie Grivell from the University of Adelaide's Robinson Institute and School of Pediatrics and Reproductive Health, studied the data of over 28,000 births across south Australia between 2006 and 2007.
Dr. Grivell compared births in which women naturally went into labor, were induced for medical reasons or were induced for "non-recognized" reasons. The women who went into labor naturally versus women who were induced for "non-recognized" reasons, had a 67 percent increase chance of requiring a C-section.
The group induced for "non-recognized" reasons also significantly increased the chance that their infant would require intensive care in a baby unit by 64 percent.
Dr. Grivell said, "Our research is aimed at better understanding the optimal timing and management of labor and birth for women with an uncomplicated pregnancy. We hope our findings will increase awareness of the potential harmful effects that elective induction can have on both women and their infants. In the absence of serious maternal or fetal problems or a medical recommendation, induction of labor is best avoided."
Dr. Grivell pointed out that the lowest chance of complications occurs with natural labor between 38 and 39 weeks. "While a natural birth is not always possible for women who already have complications in pregnancy, the results of this study suggest that for women whose pregnancy is uncomplicated, awaiting the spontaneous onset of labor is best."
What do you think about this study? Were you induced or do you plan to be? Share your stories with us in the comments!