Post-term delivery 'can lead to poor health outcomes for newborns'

21 January 2016

A new study has demonstrated the potentially significant health impact that post-term delivery can have on newborns.

Research from Tel Aviv University has revealed that post-term deliveries after more than 42 weeks of gestation are associated with increased short-term risks to newborns, including illnesses and infections, even among low-risk pregnancies.

Babies born in such circumstances are twice as likely to end up in neonatal intensive care units, a fact that underlines the importance of mothers resisting the temptation to refuse induction of labour.

This conclusion was reached after assessing the records of approximately 23,500 women with a single foetus and without pregnancy complications who delivered after 39 to 44 weeks of gestation.

A larger study will now be conducted to see whether post-term deliveries also put infants at risk for developmental difficulties later in life.

Dr Liran Hiersch of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Rabin Medical Center in Israel said: "Even in otherwise low-risk pregnancy, it is advisable not to postpone delivery beyond 42 weeks. Therefore, it is reasonable to offer induction of labour to women reaching that time of pregnancy and maybe a little earlier."

Posted by Edward Bartel


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