Sunday, January 21, 2007

Planning Birth Around Football

According to an AP report found on the FOX Sports website, Chicago school teacher Colleen Pavelka decided to have her labor induced a few days early so her husband could attend the Bears/Saints football game. The baby was apparently born healthy at 8lbs 9oz.

There is a good deal of controversy surrounding labor induction (evidenced by the Mothering piece linked below). The rates of induction have risen, and it is thought to both not be routinely medically necessary and to increase the chances that a woman will need a cesarean section. Some research findings are conflicting on the c-section point. A 2005 piece in the Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing cites reports that "According to the National Center for Heath Statistics, in 2002 (the most recent year for which data are available), in the United States the rate of induction of labor was approximately 20.6%, a 129% increase since 1989, the first year these data were collected...While there are women and fetuses with medical or obstetric indications for whom labor induction is beneficial and appropriate, two thirds of labor inductions are for non-medical indications...Miscalculations in estimated date of birth or planned elective induction prior to 39 completed weeks of gestation increases risk of iatrogenic prematurity and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit. ...There is compelling evidence that elective induction of labor significantly increases the risk of cesarean birth, especially for nulliparous women."

FamilyDoctor.org: Labor Induction
American Pregnancy Association: Inducing Labor
ACOC Patient Education Pamphlet: Labor Induction
Lamaze International: Tips for Avoiding Labor Induction
MayoClinic.com: Inducing labor: your questions answered
Mothering Magazine: Let the Baby Decide: The Case Against Inducing Labor

Update: Women's Bioethics Blog also has commentary on the story.

Technorati Tags:
MeSH Tags: Labor, Induced

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