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When very large babies are born, there is a risk of serious injuries to both the mother and the child. A new study suggests that early induction of labor can reduce such risks.
Serious injuries may occur at birth
When very large babies are born, there is a risk of serious injuries to both the child and the mother. As the APA news agency reports, a new study now suggests that artificial induction in the 37th to 38th week of pregnancy reduces these risks. For the study, the researchers led by Michel Boulvain from the university and the university hospitals in Geneva and French and Belgian colleagues divided over 800 heavily pregnant women into two groups. According to a statement from the University of Geneva, the women carried extremely large babies - more than 95 percent of all children born.
Babies can get stuck during childbirth
Particularly large babies are reported to get stuck during childbirth after the head is outside, which is called shoulder dystocia. According to the information, this can lead to collarbone fractures, paralysis, lack of oxygen, brain damage and even death of the child. In addition, painful tears in the vaginal wall (perineal tears) are more common in large babies. In some cases it may also be the case that the child no longer fits in the pelvis and has to be fetched by caesarean section.
Caesarean section rate was not affected
The doctors initiated the birth early in one half of the pregnant women and waited for the spontaneous birth in the other. The babies in the first group weighed an average of 3.8 kg at birth, those in the second 4.1 kg. According to the scientists, the first group had eight shoulder dystocias and their consequences, while the second group had 25 arm paralysis, brain hemorrhage or deaths in none of the groups. The introduction did not affect the Caesarean section rate, but increased the chances of a natural birth.
Early induction reduces risks
According to the researchers, the complication rate was the same in both groups, only jaundice in newborns was somewhat more common in the babies who were introduced. The doctors came to the conclusion that early birth initiation in such large babies significantly reduces the risk of dangerous shoulder dystocia and its consequential injuries. This finding is likely to be of importance for more and more women in Germany. Statistics show that the number of overweight newborns in this country is increasing. Experts consider one reason for this to be the fact that women are having children later and later. In older women, metabolic disorders and obesity are increasingly transmitted to the baby. Another reason is that pregnant women are growing significantly more than previous generations. (ad)
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