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Getting induced may not increase your risk for C-sections, says new study

For some women, getting induced at 39 weeks could be a new option.

Getting induced may not increase your risk for C-sections, says new study

For many pregnant women, getting induced is a last resort measure. Something doctors suggest when your due date has come and gone but you're still as pregnant as ever. For other mothers, though, an induction is a welcome way to bring baby into the world when mama is ready.

For years, women who've sought inductions without being overdue or having another medical need for one have been told that the doing so would increase their chances of having a C-section, but the authors of a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine say that's not the case.

The results of a clinical trial titled "A Randomized Trial of Induction Versus Expectant Management (ARRIVE)", the study suggests choosing to induce labor does not increase the likelihood of a C-section for healthy moms with low-risk pregnancies, but lowers the frequency of cesarean delivery by about 3% in healthy, low-risk moms at 39 weeks, something that surprised researchers.

More than 6,000 pregnant people were involved in the study, which divided them into two groups. The first had labor induced at 39 weeks and the other waited for labor to begin without interventions, and were only induced if there was a medical reason to do so, like going overdue.

The study is good news for mothers who want to have the option of inducing labor on a day that works for them, but some experts worry the results could be used to persuade pregnant women to opt for medical interventions that wouldn't be their first choice.

A midwife's take

"Welcoming a child into the world touches every aspect of your life. In an effort to increase choice for women and offer truly holistic care, that takes into account the multifaceted reality of parenthood, the recent findings from the ARRIVE trial are welcome—increased knowledge equals increased options—at least it should," says Diana Spalding, a midwife, pediatric nurse and Motherly's Digital Education Edit.or

Spalding says women may consider an elective induction of labor at 39 weeks for a variety of social, emotional, and physical reasons, any of which should be respected as relevant and important.

"It is her provider's responsibility to provide her with information and guidance in accordance with research, and support her as she comes to the best decision for her. This study provides additional information with which to support women," she continues. "However, the ARRIVE study also generates concern, primarily that its findings can potentially be used as a generalized 'pass' on all elective inductions without continuing to consider additional options, evidence, and risk."

For example for women seeking to lower the chances of having a cesarean section, the American College of Nurse-Midwives points out that there are a number of ways to do this beyond the scope of the ARRIVE trial—"a recent Cochrane Database Systematic Review reported that if 14 women have continuous labor support, one cesarean birth can be prevented… The ARRIVE trial reported that 28 women will have to undergo an elective induction to prevent a single cesarean birth."

An option for some, but not all, mothers

For some women, the trade-offs associated with an elective induction are worth it. One of the moms who was induced during the study, Kelli Rojek, opted in because it worked for her family. "It was actually rather convenient for us," she told NPR. "We have a dog at home and we were able to call our families and say, 'Hey, we're going to go in at 11 p.m. on this day, and can you guys come up to take care of the dog and then come up to the hospital afterward?' "

Although Rojek was worried about the risk of having a longer labor after an induction, hers was fairly quick and her son came into the world by 6:30 the next morning.

Critics worry the study's results may not be representative of the general population, as noted by Dr. Michael Greene, an OB-GYN at Massachusetts General Hospital, in an editorial accompanying the study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Despite these concerns, Greene says the study "should reassure women that elective induction of labour at 39 weeks is a reasonable choice."

Spalding cautions that "we cannot start to recommend that all women have routine inductions at 39 weeks based on this study. There is still a lot we need to learn."

In the end, choice is what this is all about, and more information helps mothers make the best choices for themselves, and their babies.

"We must continue to look at the big picture," says Spalding. "This study adds to it, but does not define it. Ultimately, the healthcare will be made better when women are encouraged to trust their bodies and their intuition, and supported in the decisions they arrive at."

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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9 products that will help baby sleep better (and longer!)

For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

How do I get my baby to sleep? This is one of the most commonly asked questions among new parents, and it makes sense, given that babies are born with their days and nights mixed up. For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

And while that might not exist (yet), we have found some of the best products out there that can help baby fall asleep faster and for longer durations. Because when baby is sleeping, so are you!

Dreamland Baby weighted sleep sack and swaddle

Designed by a mama, parents swear by this weighted sleep sack. It mimics your hug to give your baby security and comfort that helps them get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. The detachable swaddle wing makes it easy to transition as they grow.

It's also super easy to get on and off, and includes a bottom-up zipper for late night changes, so you don't have to wake your baby in the process.

$79

Yogasleep Hushh portable sound machine

Yogasleep hushh sound machine

With three soothing options, this is a perfect solution to help your baby settle when naps are on the go and during travel! I love how compact this noise machine is and that it can run all night with one charge.

$30

Bebe au Lait muslin crib sheets

Burt's Bees Organic Crib Sheets

With a variety of print options to choose from, these breathable sheets are *so* soft and smooth, even through multiple washes. The luxury fabric keeps little ones warm without overheating—a formula that helps ensure more sleep for everyone.

$32

The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

You know what's going to help baby have their best sleep ever? Some quality, super soft pajamas. The timeless (and aptly named!) Perfect Pajama from The Simple Folk are some of our favorites. They last forever and they're made from organic pima cotton that is safe on baby's precious skin. They come in a wide range of sizes so siblings can match and feature fold-over hand covers on sizes up to 12 months.

$37

The Snoo bassinet

Snoo

Designed by expert pediatrician and sleep guru Dr. Harvey Karp, the Snoo bassinet gently rocks your baby to sleep while snuggled up in the built-in swaddle. Not only does it come with sensors that adjust the white noise and movement based on your baby's needs, there is also an app that allows you to adjust the settings directly from your phone.

While this item is a bit on the expensive side, there is now an option to rent for $3.50 a day, which is a total game changer!

$1295

Hatch Baby Rest sound machine + nightlight

best baby sound machine

The Hatch Baby Rest is a dual sound machine and nightlight that will grow with your family. Many parents use this product with their infants as a white-noise machine and then as a "time to rise" solution for toddlers.

The thing I love most about this product is that the light it gives off isn't too bright, and you can even select different color preferences; giving your toddler choices at bedtime.

$59.99

Crane humidifier

Crane Humidifier

The only thing worse than a sick baby is a baby who is sick and not sleeping well. The Crane humidifier helps take care of this by relieving congestion and helping your baby breathe better while sleeping.

Personally, I think the adorable design options alone are enough of a reason to purchase this product, and your child will love watching steam come out of the elephant's trunk!

$46.99

Naturepedic organic crib mattress

Naturpedic Lightweight Organic Mattress

In the first few months of life, babies can spend up to 17 hours a day sleeping, so choosing a mattress that is safe (read: no chemicals!) and comfortable is incredibly important.

Naturepedic uses allergen-friendly and waterproof materials with babies and children in mind, making them easy to clean and giving you peace of mind.

$259.00

Happiest Baby sleepea 5-second swaddle

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There are baby swaddles and then there is Sleepea. Similar to the brand's swaddle that is built into the Snoo, the Sleepea is magic for multiple reasons. First, it's got mesh panels ensuring baby never overheats. Second, the zipper zips from the top or the bottom, so you can change the baby's diaper in the middle of the night without ever waking them. Third, it's hip safe. Fourth, the patterns are SO cute. And fifth, the interior swaddle wrap that keeps baby's ams down has a "quiet" velcro that won't wake baby if you need to readjust while they're asleep.

$27.95

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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