To Induce or Not to Induce?

By | March 17, 2010

With increasing numbers of expectant mothers choosing their delivery dates based on the convenience for family and the physician, Center Senior Scholar Jennfier Bailit, MD, MPH worked with the NIH to explore whether the type of delivery can impact motherand baby: in particular, whether elective inductions Ð performed for nomedical reason Ð provided an increased risk to mother or baby. The risks are increased for mom, according to Dr. Bailit, who is a high-risk obstetrician at MetroHealth. The study in the March issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology revealed that the chances of women needing a hysterectomy after giving birth were three times higher for women undergoing elective induction than for those who went into labor spontaneously.

The research also reinforced the data from recent smaller studies that neonatal outcomes are best at 39 weeks or later. ÒGiven the advantages of an elective delivery are primarily social or logistical Ð whether Grandma can come in from out of town or when your OB is available and not on vacation Ð this study presents some hard data that an elective delivery has risks,Ó says Bailit. ÒAt thevery least, women should be well-informed about the risks and benefits of the procedure.ÓAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, MetroHealth,Jennfier Bailit, MD, MPH