Menu & Search
           1904556600
Speak to our friendly team
Contact Us Now

A large trial performed in the US has prompted questions on whether routinely inducing labour ahead of the 40-week due date could reduce complications for both the child and mother.

The study suggested that inducing labour one week early brings many potential benefits. Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the trial randomly allocated 6,100 healthy, first time mothers into two groups, one that waited for labour to start on its own, and one to have labour induced.

Previously, doctors believed that inducing labour early could increase the need for a caesarean section. Although C-sections are safe, they bring an increased risk of infection and longer recovery times, and therefore greater costs.

However, the study showed that inducing labour early actually lowered the risk of a C-section by 14%. Of those who were induced at 39 weeks, there were 569 caesarean sections, or roughly 18.6% of births. This was compared to 674 women, or 22.2% of births, who required a C-section while waiting for labour to naturally occur.

This amounts to one caesarean delivery being avoided for every 28 women who opted to have pregnancy induced at 39 weeks.

The study also saw cases of pre-eclampsia and gestational hypertension (high blood pressure) amongst mothers fall by more than a third. Women reported less pain during labour, and a greater sense of control over the process of giving birth. Additionally, 25% fewer babies needed breathing support.

George Macones, head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Washington University School of Medicine, who led the study, said; “This study is a potential game changer and will have a significant impact on the practice of obstetrics.”

In the NHS, labour is only routinely induced after 41 weeks to avoid the risks of prolonged pregnancy, which can increase the risk of a baby being stillborn.

Obstetrics experts in the UK “welcomed the results” of the large new trial and said it would be valuable in discussions with mothers about early induction, particularly those at risk of stillbirth.

“However, other factors must be considered before changing recommendations in clinical practice about when to offer induction of labour,” said Professor Basky Thilaganathan, a consultant obstetrician and spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

“While induction is safe and studies have shown no short-term adverse impact on the mother of the baby, induction of labour is a medical intervention and can lead to a more prolonged and painful process than spontaneous labour, and with costs to the services.”

Start Your Claim Today1904556600
Tell us about your case

Just send us a little bit about yourself and your claim and we will respond within 24 hours.

    Get In Touch
    Latest News

    Victims can still sue Ian Paterson

    Ian Patterson jailed In 2017, breast Surgeon, Ian Paterson was jailed for wounding with intent. He had treated thousands of patients in his 14-year […]

    Read More

    Updates to the Civil Procedure Rules – April 2021

    Updates to the Civil Procedure Rules will come into effect on 6 April 2021. In this article, Jonathan Gray highlights some of the key […]

    Read More

    Vulnerable Parties and Witnesses – CPR Update April 2021

    On 6 April 2021 an update to the Civil Procedure Rules will help vulnerable parties and witnesses to navigate litigation. The new rules acknowledge […]

    Read More

    Take a look back through our complete news archive

    Follow us on Twitter

    Being injured by a defective medical product is rare, making it all the more difficult to know what you need to do.

    One of our specialist solicitors Tamlin Bolton, has prepared a guide in case you ever find yourself in this unfortunate position.

    https://bit.ly/2qP3fBr

    Return to crowded A&Es and long ambulance delays will put patients at risk, warn experts https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/nhs-emergency-hospital-ambulance-delays-b1830061.html?utm_content=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1618266495

    Load More...