Move over, Mother Nature. First-time moms at low risk of complications were less likely to need a cesarean delivery if labor was induced at 39 weeks instead of waiting for it to start on its own, a big study found. Their babies fared better, too.
The results overturn the longtime view that inducing labor raises the risk for a C-section, and prompted two leading OB-GYN doctor groups to say it's now reasonable to offer women like those in the study that option.
Inducing Labor Avoids Cesarean For Some Moms
A woman is lying on an operating table. In front of her is a big curtain, usually blue, that separates her from the surgical field: her own pregnant belly.
Beside her, near her head, her partner is sitting. During a cesarean delivery, neither can see what is happening to her belly. Behind the curtain, the doctor makes an incision into the woman's abdomen, cuts into her womb and pulls out a baby.