Inducing older mothers could save babies
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.