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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Washington: Study Finds Inducing Labor Reduces Risk of Cesarean Birth

Mothers who decide to induce their baby’s birth after 39 weeks of gestation, rather than wait for labor to begin, may reduce the risk of cesarean birth, according to a new study led by researchers from the University of Washington School of Public Health. The study was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

“Our study suggested that the reduction of risk (of cesarean) is for women who are delivering a baby for the first time. The risk of high-blood pressure was reduced for both first-time mothers and mothers who had delivered a baby before,” said lead author Dr. Vivienne Souter, an obstetrician and assistant professor of health services in the UW School of Public Health.

The study was conducted by reviewing 55,694 birth records, which included 4,402 elective inductions. The risk of cesarean for new mothers was reduced from 23.2 percent to 14.7 percent, the study reported. There was no clear reduction in cesarean birth for women who had given birth previously.

How the findings change practice is not clear. Every patient and her provider will have to think about decisions.

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