in normal scenarios when the pregnant lady is healthy without complications. Most of the deliveries previously were of this kind and a Cesarean section delivery was almost unheard of. But nowadays, women suffer from every other complication during her pregnancy tenure and physicians are pressurized to take utmost precaution to deliver a healthy baby and enable the survival of a healthy mom.
Being overdue (absence of labor beyond 42 weeks of pregnancy) poses dangerous consequences to the baby comparatively and might require the intervention of a C section. When there are no such complications it is hard to determine when the mom-baby duo have crossed their pregnancy deadline, but physicians do induce labor after a designated period to avoid any problems. This induction of labor has to be precise and beneficial for the mother and the baby outnumbering the risks involved in inducing labor.
When Pain is Blissful
Humans fear pain and try to stay away from any mental/physical pain as much as possible generally. The only situation in which humans wish to have pain is during labor without which a quick delivery is not possible. When natural labor pain doesn’t set within the safe pregnancy tenure, physicians go about inducing pain. There have been conflicting opinions and insights into such artificially induced labor pain. Amongst all this controversy a new study has come up with the fact that inducing labor after full term (39 weeks) when natural labor doesn’t set by then does not enhance health risk of the newborn baby.
There are many unanswered questions enveloped in our minds regarding pregnancy and childbirth but if one remembers that every act of nature has solid logical reasoning behind its existence we would surely lead happier, satisfied and more peaceful lives. One such grand act of nature is the pregnancy tenure of 39 weeks that’s been pre-decided for every conceiving woman. Science suggests that the developing fetus ought to reside inside the womb for a full 39 weeks to ensure complete development of the baby. Lungs and liver develop until the very end of pregnancy and the baby’s brain too almost doubles in size during the last few weeks of pregnancy. Once the baby is ready to come out, labor pain sets in. Only when this doesn’t happen we think of all other artificial methods of inducing labor and delivering the baby.
Inducing Pain Conducive for Delivery
Earlier research showed that inducing labor pain (reasons might be due to medical conditions, completion of full-term or due to requisition of the pregnant mother) before 39 weeks of pregnancy carries serious health consequences along with it. This sparked researchers’ curiosity which made them question whether inducing labor at full term also puts the baby at a grave health risk and increases the chances of a C-section delivery.
More than 6,000 first-time moms-to-be were engaged in the study that wanted to know the results of inducing labor at 39 weeks of pregnancy. Physicians have generally avoided this process as it has been believed that such artificially induction of pain paved way for Caesarian delivery. Women who deliver once by C-section are likelier to deliver babies this way which further ups the complications risk. Participants were assigned into two groups randomly where one group waited for natural labor and the other group were induced at 39 weeks.
Study results showed that inducing labor curbed the need for a C-section for every 28 deliveries (rates dropped from 22% to 19%) and those women who chose to induce labor at 39 weeks delivered nearly one week earlier than women who chose to wait for natural labor. The two groups of babies displayed similar survival rates and were also at the same risk for health problems. This study clearly proves that inducing labor at 39 weeks is as safe as natural labor and even carries with it a couple of other advantages as well-these women were at a reduced risk of preeclampsia and newborn babies were less likely to suffer from respiratory distress. Know more about preeclampsia and its severe impact on the pregnant mother from the website www.firsteatright.com. These positive results remained the same across the study population irrespective of the woman’s age, ethnicity and BMI value.
But this does not bring us anywhere close to the conclusion that inducing labor should be the routine way for delivery. This can be considered a vital option after discussing with the physician and chosen based on the pros and cons involved.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.