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Article in daily mail suggesting women should be induced at 37 weeks?

Article in today's daily mail suggesting that research from Denmark shows a halving of neonatal deaths and cutting of cerebral palsy rates by a quarter where labour is induced at 37 weeks.

Please can we have analysis of this study by Behind theHeadlines or similar?

This is pretty alarming and major stuff. It was a large study, but I haven't read it.

It would be helpful if a full analysis could be given as I'm concerned how influential this might be to advice organisations, let alone NHS policies or discussions with professionals, potentially. Already Count the Kicks has posted it on their facebook page suggesting the article accurately reflects the outcome of the study (note they have linked to the article, not the study). Count the Kicks is highly respected and people may start requesting induction or c-sections based on what they appear to support.

The findings are published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Read more:

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This review from The Royal College of Midwives may be helpful. There is a link to the Danish study at the end of the article.


Thank you, that's great!


Hi Preggo, we put this to Dr Dimitrios Siassakos (University of Bristol) and here is his response:

"The article actually shows that the introduction of proactive induction of labour from 37 weeks was associated with improvement in some important outcomes, including the reduction of the neonatal death rate. Proactive induction essentially was the induction of labour for a valid medical reason as per NICE guidelines. Please note:

A detailed look at the findings shows that the main difference after the introduction of the NICE guideline to Denmark, where the study took place, was that there were fewer babies born after 42 weeks. It appears that a lot of the impact of the introduction of the proactive labour policy might have been through inducing labour in women to achieve birth by 42 weeks and not by inducing everyone at 37 weeks."

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