Children born from induced labour perform worse at school, study suggests
- A study has found children born from induced labour perform worse aged 12
- It found less of those children were recommended for university-track education
Children born from an induced labour perform worse at school, a study suggests.
Dutch scientists compared the academic performance of more than 225,000 kids aged 12.
Children born through induced labour were 12 per cent less likely to fall within the group of highest intelligence, results showed.
Currently about one in five labours in the UK are induced — when contractions are started artificially.
Doctors induce labour by inserting a gel or tablet into the vagina.
Children born from induced labour perform worse on school tests as 12 year olds, a study has shown (file photo)
NHS midwives recommend pregnant women whose babies are overdue — after 41 weeks — have their labour kickstarted artificially.
This is to cut the risk of death and complications.
Others get induced due to a health risk to the mother or baby, such as such as high blood pressure or the baby not growing properly.
Yet doctors claim that there’s an ever-growing trend of ‘low-risk’ mothers-to-be being induced early.
Experts at the Amsterdam University Medical Center, who carried out the study, said the benefits of doing so needed to be weighed against the risks.
Data was only collected from pregnancies without complications.
All of the women gave birth between 37 and 42 weeks. Around eight per cent of the children studied were induced.
In the Netherlands, 12 year olds are tested to help determine which of three types of secondary school they will attend.
These include a four-year vocational education (VMBO), five-year general secondary education (HAVO), and a six-year pre-university education (VWO).
Results were lower in induced children at every gestational age up to 41 weeks.
Researchers said there was no difference between children who were induced and ones who weren’t at 42 weeks.
Renee Burger, study author, acknowledged the impact on individual children would be ‘small’.
But she claimed that it ‘could lead to a potentially large impact on society, given the increasing number of elective inductions’.
The authors said that while inductions have advantages in terms of limiting stillbirth and caesarean risks, it ‘might come at a price of reduced long-term intellectual development’ in offspring.
The rates of people born by induced labour has increased in many countries in the last decade.
In the UK, the number of induced births increased from 21 per cent in 2010, to 34 per cent in 2021. A similar trend has emerged in the US.
The findings were published in the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica (AOGS).
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