In­duc­ing older moth­ers could save ba­bies

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Sarah Knap­ton

THE lives of hun­dreds of ba­bies could be saved if first­time moth­ers over 35 were in­duced at their due date, a new study has found.

Cur­rently around 26 ba­bies in ev­ery 10,000 born to first-time older women will die from still­birth or within the first seven days of life.

But re­search by the London School of Hy­giene and Trop­i­cal Medicine and Cam­bridge Univer­sity sug­gests that could be re­duced to eight deaths in 10,000 if women are in­duced at 40 weeks.

The Royal Col­lege of Ob­ste­tri­cians and Gy­nae­col­o­gists said the study was im­por­tant be­cause the age of women giv­ing birth is in­creas­ing. Around 20 per cent of Bri­tish ba­bies are born to women aged 35 or above, ac­count­ing for around 140,000 births an­nu­ally, 40,000 of those to first-time moth­ers.

Prof Gor­don Smith, se­nior au­thor and head of the depart­ment of ob­stet­rics and gy­nae­col­ogy at Cam­bridge Univer­sity, said: “Our best es­ti­mate is that one still­birth would be pre­vented for ev­ery 562 in­duc­tions of labour.”

The group’s re­search was pub­lished in the jour­nal PLOS One.

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