Having A Planned Delivery May Reduce Impact Of Potentially Fatal Pregnancy Complication

A lot of moms go into the whole pregnancy, labor, and delivery thing wanting everything to be perfect and go as smoothly as possible. But, if you've been through it, you know that nine times out of ten, that just isn't the case! Things go wrong. Complications can develop seemingly in the blink of an eye. And plans do change! If you have a birth plan, that's why it's important to include your instructions (and hopes) in the event of emergencies or unforeseen complications.

Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication that occurs in approximately 1 in 25 of pregnancies in the US, and if left untreated can have dire ramifications for mom and baby. The most effective cure for preeclampsia is delivery, which typically happens around 37 weeks (or earlier if the condition worsens). But a new study out of the UK suggests that a different protocol may actually reduce the maternal complications that are associated with the condition.

In the UK, typical treatment for preeclampsia includes monitoring until the 37th week of pregnancy, at which time labor would be induced or a c-section would be performed. If the condition worsened before 37 weeks, the baby would be delivered even earlier. We know that preterm delivery can come with a whole host of complications. But researchers at King's College London actually found that a planned early delivery when preeclampsia has been diagnosed can actually be more favorable for mom and baby.

Young pregnant beautiful woman relaxing at home stroking her belly.
Credit: iStock

According to the study, planned delivery within 48 hours of a diagnosis (when time of diagnosis is between 34-37 weeks) meant fewer complications for mom, and no other seriously complications for the preterm baby. A planned early delivery resulted in fewer cases of postpartum hypertension; additionally, women who were induced within 48 hours of being diagnosed in weeks 34-37 of pregnancy were more likely to have a vaginal delivery than a c-section.

Early planned delivery did lead to more neonatal admissions for the premature babies, but there was not an increase in complications (such as breathing problems) with this method of care.

Preeclampsia is a very serious condition that can lead to maternal death if left untreated or not treated early enough. Many cases are diagnosed after the 20th week of pregnancy, and monitoring until the baby is developed enough to be born is the first course of action. But for women who are diagnosed between 34 and 37 weeks, this early planned delivery may be an option.

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