By Lucie Van Den Berg From The Advertiser March 07, 2012 5:29AM

Inducing labour in older women can help reduce the increased risk of stillborn babies, researchers say.

Their findings come as a separate study shows that nearly a third of working mums regret delaying motherhood and would try to conceive earlier if they had their time again.

Research from the Mater Mothers Hospital, in Brisbane, shows women aged 40 and over have a higher risk of stillbirths than younger women. A policy of inducing labour at 37 weeks or above could help combat this.

“Induction of labour at or before 40 weeks may help reduce the risk of stillbirth for women aged over 40 years without significantly increasing the likelihood of birth by caesarean section,” the report says.

The authors also say more Australian women are choosing to delay their pregnancy.

Pregnancy in older women is associated with increased risks, of which stillbirth is one of the most devastating,” they write in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

The study of more than 77,000 births found the risk of stillbirth for women over 40 was 2.4 per 1000 pregnancies, compared to one per 1000 for women under 35.

Meanwhile, a poll by CareforKids.com.au found most working mums believe women are too blase about their body clocks.

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