Inducing labour at 39 weeks can benefit mother, baby

Washington: According to a new study, induction of labour at 39 weeks could benefit pregnant women and their babies.

An Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology analysis of data from five randomised controlled trials found that elective induction of labour 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,” concluded Dr. Sotiriadis.