Elective Labor Induction and the Health of the Infant

The topic of discussion is based on the latest trend where most nurses in a majority of maternal care units use elective induction of labor so as to accelerate the delivery process of pregnant women. The debate is however, the importance of such a process, since there are those who have constantly argued against the use of such procedures. Niswander and Patterson, (1963) have argued that the use of elective labor induction may prove to be detrimental to the infant since it negatively affects their health.

For instance, it is suggested that the use of induced labor results in the prematurity of the infant, and at times it even results in the prolapsed of the umbilical cord thereby causing more problems. Research also has it that an induction of labor may result in cerebral lesions on the infant, while in some instances it results in neurological damage (Niswander and Patterson, 1963)

The primary purpose of conducting this study is because previous research work ended up giving contradictory results on the same issue. Therefore this study is meant to give insight on the knowledge gap that exists on the topic.

The study is significant in trying to establish whether the use of elective labor induction has an impact on the reduction of the prenatal mortality as is claimed by some groups. For instance, previous research conducted in this field has established that use of inductions cause deaths through anoxia and birth injury. There are also researches that suggest that a low level of induction is directly related to low levels of prenatal mortality (Howie, 1975). The reverse is true for the high levels of elective induction in women. On the contrary, there are research works that also find no any form of complications related to elective induction in women. This study therefore acts as a bridge of the knowledge between the two sides that have contradicting ideas on the issue.

Some of the research question that was asked in this study includes the following:

Is there any health benefit that is derived when using elective induction of labor?

Is it really necessary for nurses to resolve to the use of elective labor induction on women instead of letting them develop natural labor?

At what point before the delivery process is it considered to be necessary for nurses to use elective labor induction?

Are there any negative health effects on the infants on the use of elective labor induction?

The study involved the participation of eight academic Dutch hospitals and forty four non-academic Dutch hospitals. The study was legal and was approved by the institutional review board belonging to the University of Leiden. The women who took part in the DIGITAT study were given prior information about the study through their respective midwives, health workers and in some instance they were informed by the gynecological staff members. The participation of the women was obtained through their consents to participate in the study.

The women who were allocated to induction received their labor induction forty eight hours after the randomization process.  Those who has a bishop score of greater than six received their labor induction through amniotomy and an addition of axytocin in some cases where there was need to do so. Those who had a lower bishop score received a prostaglandins induction.

Analysis of the data was conducted through the use of SPSS computer programs. An A P value of less than 0.5 ways in this case considered to be of great significance. The results showed that those who were induced with labor received more pain days after giving birth as compared to their counterparts in the expectant management group.

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