Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have shown that labor induction alone does not increase the probability of Caesarean section in pregnant women who exceed their due date. The rate of labor induction in the United States has increased steadily since 1989. Currently about one in five women undergo labor induction, with the highest rates occurring in women who are at least one week past their due dates (at least 41 weeks gestation). In an article published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. James Alexander, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UT Southwestern, and his colleagues report that Caesarean deliveries were, in fact, increased in patients whose labors were induced, but this was due to risk factors intrinsic to the patient, rather than to labor induction itself. Correcting for risk factors like first-time pregnancy, undilated cervix prior to induction and epidural analgesia, the physicians concluded that these circumstances, not induction of labor per se, accounted for the increas in Caesarean deliveries. Physicians examined 1,325 women in a special post-term clinic at Parkland Memorial Hospital between Dec. 1, 1997, and April 4, 2000. These women had reached 41 weeks gestation and were scheduled for induction of labor at 42 weeks. “We studied a group of women whose pregnancies extended beyond their due date and who were scheduled for induction of labor,” Alexander said. “We found that inducing labor resulted in more Caesarean deliveries in women who were not fully dilated and in those who were experiencing their first pregnancy.” The Caesarean delivery rates were compared to those who entered spontaneous labor (52 percent) and those who underwent induction. Women with diabetes, prior Caesarean delivery, multiple fetuses, breach presentation or other medical or obstetric problems were excluded from the study. In the spontaneous labor group, 14 percent of the women underwent Caesarean section. In those whose labor was induced, 19 percent delivered by Caesarean. “Patients’ failure to progress resulted in a higher percentage of Caesarean deliveries in the induced group,” Alexander said. “However, the risk factors intrinsic to the patients’rather than the labor induction itself’resulted in an excess of Caesarean deliveries in the ippee! We had a great time at the Caf’ at the Depot last Sun- day from 4-6 p.m., celebrating my 90th birthday. I’ve never had such a nice and pretty party. I heard one of my guests comment “this is the kind of party every one should have. The guests came, stayed and visited.” My children and their spouses were the hosts for the occasion. I worried to Mary Ann that I didn’t know whether I could stand up to greet my guests. I was afraid I would get too tired. She said, “You are going to ‘sit on a throne.'” I didn’t know what she meant until I got there and there near the door sat a pretty, big chair with red velvet down the seat. I thought I had seen it before, then I realized it had sat at the altar of our old First United Methodist Church. Such a pretty chair! I did feel pretty important sitting in that pretty chair; and I didn’t get so tired. The Depot was decorated with pretty flowers, sent to me by Dale West, Brady National Bank, Preston Smith, his son-in-law and daughter, Robert and Jan Taylor and La Rue Samuelson and daughters and husbands, Rue Anne and Jim Harrington, and Mary Lu and Gene Laughlin. And cards! They came before and were brought by the guests. I enjoyed reading all of them the next day. I know my party interfered with Father’s Day and cut down on my guests, but we let them enjoy and celebrate their day at lunch, then come to my party from 4-6 p.m. I enjoyed every minute and thank the guests who came, and missed those who couldn’t come. Let’s do it again!