New study reveals effects of inducing labor at 39 weeks

Research recently published in a peer-reviewed journal of medicine found that inducing labor at 39 weeks of pregnancy may lower the likelihood of needing a Cesarean section for some mothers-to-be.

The study followed 6,106 pregnant women from across the U.S. and found that 18.6% of those that induced labor at 39 weeks needed C-sections compared to 22.2% of those who waited for spontaneous labor.

“The whole purpose of the study was… There has been a lack of information in the literature on women who are electively induced between 39 weeks and 40 weeks gestation. We’ve kind of avoided offering elective inductions to them because of the lack of data,” said Dr. Rebecca Scarseth, an Obstetrician-Gynecologist with Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse.

Doctors said the study may change the way they council patients.

The study followed first-time, low-risk pregnancies.