Thousands of premature births could be avoided under new guidelines that advise holding off on delivery after waters break

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THOUSANDS of premature births could be avoided if delivery is delayed when a woman’s waters break early.

Doctors say it may be better for a mum to carry her baby to 37 weeks if there are no signs of infection or complications.

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Doctors believe it might be better for a woman to still carry her baby to 37 weeks even if her waters break early[/caption]

It will mean the baby is more developed and less likely to suffer breathing or feeding problems.

Women should be given antibiotics to reduce the risk of infections, such as sepsis, if they choose to delay the birth.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said its guidelines contradict the standard NHS response of offering an induction if labour does not begin soon after waters break.

Dr Andrew Thomson, who wrote them, urged all maternity units to adopt the advice.

He said: “Evidence shows that waiting for labour to begin may be the best option for a healthier outcome, unless there is a reason for the baby to be born immediately.


“Each woman’s individual preferences need to be considered.”

Ciara Curran, of the Little Heartbeats support group, said: “When waters break early it can be an emotionally challenging time.

“It’s essential parents get all the information they need to make informed decisions.”

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Carrying to 37 weeks will mean the baby is more developed and less likely to suffer breathing or feeding problems[/caption]


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