How early does a child have to be born if it starts to have complications in utero , is a question many obstetricians would answer differently. A new study done in this area may shed some light on the benefits of delaying the birth. The study finds even a small delay could reduce the risk of a disability for the baby.
Until now, no study has ever compared the effect of delaying a delivery to an immediate delivery for a premature baby. In a recent study researchers compared these two methods. For the study, 588 babies were randomly assigned to have immediate delivery or delayed delivery. The babies had fetal trauma, and the mothers were between 24- and 36-weeks pregnant.
The delayed delivery meant the physician waited as long as possible before the baby was born. The delay ended up being about four days later compared to the babies who were born immediately. Researchers then looked at the survival of the infants and the rate of disability at age 2.It was found that the overall survival was the same in both groups. However, they found 8 percent of the babies born immediately had disabilities at age 2 compared to 4 percent of the babies who had their delivery delayed.
Thus researchers say the lack of difference in mortality suggests that obstetricians are delivering sick preterm babies at about the correct moment to minimize mortality. Researchers feel the results of this study should discourage doctors about an immediate delivery and promote waiting to deliver until it cannot be delayed longer.