Waiting for birth or inducing found equally effective for women with IUGR

February 4, 2010, Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine

In a study to be presented today at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's (SMFM) annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in Chicago, researchers will unveil findings that show that waiting for birth is as effective as inducing labor in cases of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).

Intrauterine growth restriction means that the fetus is substantially smaller than normal. The condition affects about 10% of pregnant women.

At birth the babies are more likely to have low , trouble maintaining their body temperature, and an abnormally high red blood cell count. They're also prone to jaundice, infections, and Cerebral Palsy. Later in life growth restricted babies may be prone to executive and behavioral disorders, obesity, heart disease, type II diabetes, and .

Because of lack of evidence, obstetricians follow two main policies for pregnancies with suspected fetal growth restriction at term. Some doctors may induce labor out of concern for complications, while others will await spontaneous delivery to prevent higher operative delivery rates. Researchers in the obstetric research consortium in the Netherlands conducted a of 650 women in 52 hospitals to compare both strategies.

Pregnant women with a singleton pregnancy suspected of IUGR beyond 36 weeks of gestation were randomly allocated to either induction of labor or expectant monitoring using a web-based allocation system. Median birth weight was significantly lower in the induction group; 2420 grams, vs. 2560 grams in the group that waited. Adverse neonatal outcomes occurred at similar rates in both groups (difference of 0.9 %). The results show that waiting is an equally effective strategy to inducing labor.

"We now have an evidence based reason to individualize care and to allow women to do what they are most comfortable with when deciding whether to induce labor or wait, although long term outcomes have to be awaited" said Dr. Kim Boers the study's author from Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

0 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.