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Study Says Labor Induction Doesn't Increase Risk of C-Section

Photograph by Twenty20

While many been there, done that moms may disagree, a new study out of England claims that labor induction has no correlation to an increased risk of ending up with a C-section. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, specifically looked at older first-time mothers—those over 35.

Labor induction is generally only recommended for medical reasons or if a woman's due date has passed, but for women of "advanced maternal age," that recommendation is made more often, as their risk of stillbirth and other health complications are slightly higher.

To arrive at their findings, researchers followed 619 pregnant woman during their 39th week of pregnancy. The women were split into two groups: the first group had already agreed to have their labor induced, while mothers in the second group were allowed to continue with their pregnancy without any interventions. At the end of the day, the frequency of C-sections among the two groups was pretty much the same—32 percent in the induced group and 33 percent in the non-induced group. There were also no notable differences in any health problems of either the mother or the baby.

Dr. Kate F. Walker, the lead author of the study and an OB-GYN, explains that the study's findings may bring some relief to moms-to-be who are stressing out over whether or not to induce labor, as per their doctor's recommendations. “Those women now have more information to guide their choices. If they are offered an induction of labor at 39 weeks, they can have peace of mind that it will not result [in a] worsening of their birth experience."

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