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Induced birth 'reduces risk of infant death'

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Researchers have suggested that babies who are induced have less risk of dying.

But the British Medical Journal Scottish analysis also found that babies delivered in such a way have a greater chance of being admitted to a special-care unit.

The researchers also found that women having a planned induction didn’t face a greater risk of having a Caesarean section.

The study looked at more than one million births north of the border between 1981 and 2007, where mothers had been induced for non-medical reasons after carrying their baby for the full-term.

Factors such as age, social standing and previous labours were all considered by the experts.

The data was then compared to that of births between 37 and 41 weeks gestation, setting the results of those who were induced for non-medical reasons with those who continued to full-term.

Researchers said when planned inductions were carried out at each weekly stage the chance of a baby dying during or after birth fell.

Dr Sarah Stock, of the University of Edinburgh’s Tommy’s Centre for Reproductive Health, said: “There were concerns about inducing birth, but we didn’t find an increased risk of complications or operational delivery. However, we did see an increase in neonatal admissions.”

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