Overdue babies at greater risk
A study of more than 5,000 babies reported that those delivered after 42 weeks were at more than twice the normal risk of developing ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder). For a long time it has been recognised that premature babies are at high risk of problems later in life but the effect of an overdue birth has not until now been studied.In the UK, guidelines recommend that women should be induced between 41 and 42 weeks or warned of the increased risk of complications should they wish to prolong the pregnancy. Historically, these risks have been said to be an increased risk of stillbirth and difficulties in delivering large babies.Trefine Maynard, a solicitor with the specialist clinical negligence team at Ashtons Legal, comments: “This study gives greater urgency to the need to make sure that mothers whose pregnancy goes beyond 41 weeks are fully advised and are offered induction. We have sadly had a number of cases where a mother has not been induced until after 42 weeks resulting in problems for mother or baby. Birth injuries are often catastrophic for the child and result in lifetime devastating effects on all the family.”
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