Risks associated with early-term delivery highlighted

Risks associated with early-term delivery highlighted

(HealthDay)—Non-medically indicated early-term delivery is associated with increased neonatal morbidity and mortality, and interventions to reduce these deliveries are encouraged, according to a review published in the November issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Jani R. Jensen, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues discuss the neonatal and maternal consequences of early-term delivery and interventions to reduce these deliveries.

The authors note that neonatal mortality rates are significantly increased at 37 and 38 weeks versus 39 weeks (adjusted odds ratios, 1.9 and 1.4, respectively). Early delivery impacts the , with 1.9- and 1.3-fold higher cerebral palsy rates seen at 37 and 38 weeks, respectively, versus 39 to 41 weeks. Increases in the Mental Developmental Index and Psychomotor Development Scale scores are seen with each additional week of gestation. Maternal complications include longer labor, more interventions during labor, and increased rates of Cesarean delivery, which is associated with underappreciated long-term sequelae. Many women are unaware of early-term delivery-associated risks and the age at which it is safe to deliver a baby; in one study, half of the women believed a full-term pregnancy occurred at 37 to 38 weeks. To decrease the number of non-medically indicated early-term deliveries, hospitals are using different approaches, including "hard-stop" policies, prohibiting this type of ; "soft-stop" approach, allowing individual physicians to decide on adherence; and education about associated risks—all of which can reduce early-term deliveries.

"Adoption and enforcement of policies to decrease the rate of elective early-term deliveries may reduce the frequency of these deliveries and, in turn, improve maternal and ," the authors write.

More information: Abstract
Full Text

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Policy changes in elective delivery proven successful

Feb 11, 2013

In a study to be presented on February 14 at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in San Francisco, California, researchers will present data showing changes in elective delivery ...

Recommended for you

The hunt for botanicals

Dec 19, 2014

Herbal medicine can be a double-edged sword and should be more rigorously investigated for both its beneficial and harmful effects, say researchers writing in a special supplement of Science.

Mozambique decriminalises abortion to stem maternal deaths

Dec 19, 2014

Mozambique has passed a law permitting women to terminate unwanted pregnancies under specified conditions, a move hailed by activists in a country where clandestine abortions account for a large number of maternal deaths.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.