The pros and cons of induced labor

pregnant womanBy the time 37 weeks rolls around, you might be tired of pregnancy and you’re probably eager to meet your baby. But the word “induction” is more than a little scary to you. After all, don’t inductions increase the risk of cesarean sections? Australian researchers don’t think that’s the case. In a study published in the journal BMJ, they found that, after looking at data on 1.2 million women in Scotland who gave birth to one baby, induction after 37 weeks of pregnancy not only didn’t raise a woman’s risk of a C-section, but it also decreased the baby’s risk of death before, during or shortly after birth compared to women who had C-sections or went into labor naturally. There was, however, an increase in the likelihood of the infant being admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit.

While certainly food for thought, not all experts agreed with the researchers’ findings, however, and certain aspects of the study—such not analyzing the cervical status of the participants—were called into question.