Feb. 26 (UPI) -- During childbirth, expecting mothers are usually waiting for a bundle of joy, not a procedure full of complications.
That's why pregnant women might want to try to avoid giving birth at night, when the risk of having complications is about 21 percent higher than normal, according to a study published Sunday in Risk Analysis: An International Journal.
During holidays, expecting mothers have a 29 percent higher risk of experiencing a labor mishap. Additionally, mothers delivering on the weekend had nearly a nine percent chance of having a labor complication.
Each year, more childbirths are performed at hospitals than any other medical procedure, according to the study. Roughly 700 women die during delivery, and a handful of other complications happen during nights, weekends and holidays, as well as in teaching hospital childbirths.
In fact, about pregnant mothers to be are 2.2 times likely to have a complication at a teaching hospital versus any other facility. If the birth happens in July, then that same risk should be multiplied by 1.3.
The researchers analyzed labor and delivery complications such as unexpected admissions to intensive care units, ruptured uteruses, unplanned hysterectomies and unplanned operating room procedures.
The participants were women who were pregnant more than 20 weeks, with a physician present and normal labor onset.
Overall, the study estimates that about 75 percent of the complications caused by hospitals are preventable.
To curb this problem, the researchers say hospitals could pair less experienced physicians with veteran doctors.
"Across an ensemble of hospital situations where clinical quality is known to vary independently of patient characteristics and volume, we see corresponding variation in the risk of preventable harm to expectant mothers," Sammy Zahran, an associate professor of demography at Colorado State University, said in a press release.