Labour induction helps cut risk of stillbirths, says study

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The induction of labour after a full-term pregnancy can halve the risk of a stillbirth without increasing the need for a Caesarean, city researchers have found.

A study of more than 1.2 million women whose babies were delivered after 37 weeks found significantly fewer deaths among those opting for the procedure compared with others.

The researchers from Edinburgh University said the induction of labour “has the potential to reduce perinatal mortality in developed countries without increasing the risk of operative delivery”.

The researchers, whose findings are published online in the British Medical Journal, said: “This is the first study that we are aware of that has quantified the benefits of induction of labour in terms of a reduction in perinatal mortality.”