High labor induction and first-time c-section rates in low-risk pregnant women don’t lead to better outcomes for newborns, according to new research published in the April issue of the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine.
The study, which was led by Dr. J. Christopher Glantz, a professor of obstetrics at the University of Rochester, involved a review of almost 30,000 births at 10 level I hospitals (those without a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which is the kind of hospital where the majority of U.S. women deliver their babies) in New York’s Finger Lakes region between 2004 and 2008. Neonatal outcomes were measured in three ways: whether a baby received a low 5-minute Apgar score, whether a baby was transferred to a hospital with a NICU, and whether a baby needed immediate ventilation or breathing assistance.
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Ultimately, Dr. Glantz found that there was no difference in outcomes for babies born in hospitals with low rates of labor interventions versus those with high rates of interventions. In a university press release, he stated, “Like virtually all medical therapies and procedures, these interventions entail some risk for the mother, and there is no evidence in this study that they benefit the baby. In my mind, if you are getting the same outcome with high and low rates of intervention, I say ‘Do no harm’ and go with fewer interventions.”
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Was your labor induced, or did you have a c-section? Do you feel like you had unnecessary interventions?