Even though it’s impossible to choose what time of day you’ll give birth, unless you are having a scheduled C-section, researchers say there is a specific time that’s safest to deliver your baby.
This has nothing to do with you and your baby, but everything to do with the doctor who is on duty, according to a new paper published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
It claims that the longer a doctor has been at work, the higher a mom’s risk is to lose dangerous amounts of blood or the baby to experience low oxygen levels.
How the study was conducted
Researchers looked at 24 506 unscheduled deliveries in the UK between January 2008 and October 2013 at the same maternity wards where doctors worked 12-hour shifts.
While the results didn’t find any differences between day and night and vaginal and C-section deliveries, they did show that there’s an increased risk of maternal blood loss once a doctor enters his ninth hour of a 12-hour shift, which researchers attribute to fatigue and not noticing small signals.
“We find that there’s a peak eight to 10 hours after the beginning of a shift when, relative to baseline, the risk of maternal blood loss exceeding 1.5 litres increases by 30 per cent, and arterial pH, a marker for infant distress, is at increased risk of falling below 7.1,” says Dr James Scott, an associate professor of statistics at the University of Texas.
These risks, however, decreased during the last two hours of the shift. The paper suggests that this is because doctors are handing over to the next staff on duty.