Labor Inductions May Be Abetting Early Births

Statistics show that in the years from 1992 to 2003, the number of instances where labor was induced has doubled in the United States. This trend of labor induction is responsible for early births according to a new study. Whereas in 1992 the percentage of labor inductions was 14%, by 2003 this percentage had climbed to 27%.

A normal term of pregnancy is 40 weeks and anything between 37 and 41 weeks of pregnancy is considered full term (beyond 42 weeks is considered post term).

Though gestation beyond the 37th week of pregnancy is considered to be full term, there is still a higher risk of complications associated with delivering at this time than later.

So it was seen that labor was started to be induced in the early part of full term rather than waiting till the later part.

Problems such as risk of neonatal death and other complications may rise due to this. Respiratory distress is more likely and brain development can also be impacted resulting in slightly lower IQs, generally speaking.

Doctors therefore advise that labor induction should be discouraged until the later stage of full term unless there is a medical requirement for this.


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