Pregnant women should be induced earlier in bid to reduce stillbirths, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) says. Its new draft guidelines say expectant mothers should be induced at 41 weeks, instead of the current advice, which says induction should be offered between 41 and 42 weeks. Nice said the shift followed an examination of recent evidence showing greater risks to the baby if pregnancies reached 42 weeks. One of the main studies examined (from Sweden and the Netherlands) was stopped early, because of the number of babies dying or being admitted to intensive care after late induction. Medics and charities for those affected by stillbirth and infant deaths welcomed the move. However, mothers’ groups warned that too many women were being pushed into stressful and traumatic inductions, without the right pain relief in place. Until now, women have been offered induction on the NHS between 41 and 42 weeks, but recent evidence shows that babies are more likely to die if the pregnancy goes to 42 weeks or beyond. The new guidelines say women should be induced as soon as possible when they hit 41 weeks in a bid to make birth safer for them and their child. Those women who choose not to be induced at 41 weeks can continue with twice-weekly monitoring, but should be told that there is no evidence this can prevent poor outcomes for mother or baby.