The Risks of Early Planned Birth

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Early planned birth is when a baby is born before 39 weeks of pregnancy by planned caesarean section or induction of labour. However, for optimal development, babies should remain in utero until at least 39 weeks of pregnancy unless there are medical or obstetric reasons for planning birth earlier.

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What is this article about?

The controversial practice of early planned births has come under the spotlight recently as the potential risks of early elective delivery are acknowledged. This has led to the recommendation that pregnancies should continue until at least 39 weeks gestation unless there is a medical or obstetric reason justifying earlier intervention. So, what is early planned birth and why does it carry such risks?


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Meet the educator

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Anne Watkins
Anne is a freelance lecturer and medical writer at Mind Body Ink. She is a former midwife and nurse teacher with over 25 years’ experience working in the fields of healthcare, stress management and medical hypnosis. Her background includes working as a hospital midwife, Critical Care nurse, lecturer in Neonatal Intensive Care, and as a Clinical Nurse Specialist for a company making life support equipment. Anne has also studied many forms of complementary medicine and has extensive experience in the field of clinical hypnosis. She has a special interest in integrating complementary medicine into conventional healthcare settings and is currently an Associate Tutor, lecturing in Health Coaching and Medical Hypnosis at Exeter University in the UK. As a former Midwife, Anne has a natural passion for writing about fertility, pregnancy, birthing and baby care. Her recent publications include The Health Factor, Coach Yourself To Better Health and Positive Thinking For Kids. You can read more about her work at
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176 reviews by Ausmed Learners
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Namrata Manjrekar
26 May 2021
This is a new knowledge i have learned
Taylah Haynes
28 May 2021
Very concise and informative!
Cyndi Pridham
26 May 2021
Interesting paper.
Portrait of Clover Lewis
Clover Lewis
25 May 2021
This was a really useful resource and cited some useful references around the risks associated with early IOL and elective LSCS with no maternal or foetal indication and the long term health consequences for children.
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Alyce Hanna
24 May 2021
Very informative
Rebekah Wilson
27 May 2021
Very interesting!
Rhianna Blackburn
29 May 2021
14 Jun 2021
Excellent article. Clear, precise and short @
05 Nov 2021
Really good article on induction and it's risks
Lauren Kerr
26 May 2021
4.6 / 5
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