Inducing labour in older women having their first baby does not increase the chance of caesarean delivery

Planning to artificially start labour for older women, pregnant with their first child, in the 39th week of pregnancy does not affect the chance of having a caesarean delivery | NIHR Signal

Image source: NIHR

Older women having a first baby have a higher risk of stillbirth and other complications than younger mothers and inducing labour at or before the due date is thought to reduce this risk. However, there have been fears that inducing labour may raise the risk of a caesarean delivery.

This study found that women aged 35 or over having their first child and who were induced at 39 weeks had no higher risk of a caesarean (32%) than women who had standard wait-and-see care (33%) with intervention if necessary.

It’s important to note that this study did not investigate whether women whose labour was induced had a lower risk of stillbirth. A large trial is in progress to investigate this issue. In the meantime, the findings may reassure some women aged over 35 that labour induction may carry no more risk of having a caesarean than spontaneous labour.

Read the full overview here

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