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Early-Term Induced Labor Rate Drops by 12 Percent

Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Between 2006 and 2012, the rate of early-term induced births dropped by 12 percent in the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says.

According to data released by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, between 1990 and 2010, inductions rates had doubled. In the latest data, however, induction in early-term pregnancies -- between 35 and 38 weeks -- dropped significantly. That drop is likely related to a change in medical practices, as data has shown that children delivered in that stage of pregnancy are often worse off healthwise.

Not all induction rates dropped, however, as the rate of induced labor remained effectively the same for women age 40 and over. There was also no change in the number of pre-term induced labor.

Instead of allowing family and physician schedules to dictate labor, hospitals have begun to employ doctors on shift schedules to prioritize natural delivery.

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