Unnecessary induction of labor increases risk of cesarean section and other complications

March 6, 2012, Wiley

A new study published in the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica reveals that induction of labor at term in the absence of maternal or fetal indications increases the risk of cesarean section and other postpartum complications for the woman, as well as neonatal complications.

Induction of labor is common and increasing over time in many countries. A large proportion of women are induced for "social" and other "non-recognized" reasons.

Led by Rosalie Grivell, BSc, BMBS, FRANZCOG, of the University of Adelaide's Robinson Institute, researchers performed a cohort study utilizing a dataset of 28,626 women with spontaneous onset of labor, induction of labor for recognized indications, and induction of labor for non-recognized indications.

Induction of labor for non-recognized indications was associated with a 67% increased relative risk of cesarean section (compared with spontaneous labor).

It also significantly increased the chance of the infant requiring Unit nursery care (an increased relative risk of 64%) or treatment (an increased relative risk of 44%) when compared with the spontaneous labor onset.

Overall, for the best maternal health outcomes, the lowest risk of requiring epidural or spinal analgesia occurred with birth at or after 41 weeks' gestation, while the lowest risk of sustaining a severe perineal tear was associated with delivery after 37 weeks' gestation, and labor complications were at a minimum beyond 38 weeks' gestation. This indicates that the lowest risk of adverse maternal and infant outcomes occurred with birth between 38 and 39 weeks and with the spontaneous onset of labor.

"Our research relates to the optimal timing and management of labor and birth at term for women with an uncomplicated pregnancy," Grivell notes. "We hope our findings will increase awareness of potential complications related to the common use of induction of in situations where there is no serious maternal or fetal problem."

Explore further: Inducing labor is not associated with higher rates of cesarean sections

Related Stories

Inducing labor is not associated with higher rates of cesarean sections

June 20, 2011
A new study published in the international Nordic journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica (AOGS) reveals that inducing labor in the weeks around term, or from week 39 to week 41, is not connected with higher ...

New method of managing risk in pregnancy leads to healthier newborns, better outcomes for moms

June 2, 2008
An alternative method for obstetric care has led to lower neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission rates, higher uncomplicated vaginal birth (UVB) rates, and a lower mean Adverse Outcome Index (AOI) score, according ...

Team finds labor induction need not increase cesarean risk

August 17, 2009
Contrary to a belief widely held by obstetricians, inducing labor need not increase a woman's risk for cesarean section delivery in childbirth, scientists at the University of California, San Francisco and the Stanford University ...

Repeat C-section before 39 weeks raises risk of neonatal illness

January 7, 2009
Women choosing repeat cesarean deliveries and having them at term but before completing 39 weeks gestation are up to two times more likely to have a baby with serious complications including respiratory distress resulting ...

Study able to predict which cesarean births could cause uterine rupture

January 30, 2009
In a study to be presented today at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's (SMFM) annual meeting, researchers will unveil findings that show that by using a sonogram to measure the lower uterine segment (LUS) thickness, ...

When first-time mothers are induced, breaking the amniotic membrane shortens delivery time

February 10, 2011
In a study to be presented today at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's (SMFM) annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in San Francisco, researchers will present findings that show that by performing an amniotomy on ...

Recommended for you

Early postpartum opioids linked with persistent usage

December 14, 2018
Vanderbilt researchers have published findings indicating that regardless of whether a woman delivers a child by cesarean section or by vaginal birth, if they fill prescriptions for opioid pain medications early in the postpartum ...

Hysterectomy linked to memory deficit in an animal model

December 6, 2018
By age 60, one in three American women have had a hysterectomy. Though hysterectomy is a prevalent and routine surgery, the removal of the uterus before natural menopause might actually be problematic for cognitive processes ...

Obesity intervention needed before pregnancy

December 6, 2018
New research from the University of Adelaide's Robinson Research Institute supports the need for dietary and lifestyle interventions before overweight and obese women become pregnant.

First baby born via uterus transplanted from dead donor

December 5, 2018
In a medical first, a mother who received a uterus transplant from a dead donor gave birth to a healthy baby, researchers reported Wednesday.

Researchers find evidence of prenatal environment tuning genomic imprinting

December 5, 2018
A team of researchers from the U.S., Australia and Denmark has found evidence of the prenatal environment tuning genomic imprinting. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes ...

RSV study reveals age when infants are most vulnerable to asthma

December 5, 2018
New research suggests a maternal vaccination against RSV should be augmented with active immunisation in a child's first two years to reduce the onset of asthma.

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.