Research Article

Is routine induction of labour at term ever justified?

BMJ 1993; 306 doi: (Published 27 March 1993) Cite this as: BMJ 1993;306:840
  1. L Cardozo
  1. King's College Hospital, London.


    Balancing the risks of prolonged gestation against those of induced labour is difficult. Risks to the fetus increase slightly after 42 weeks' gestation but women having labour induced are more likely to have instrumental deliveries or babies with low Apgar scores. Since many women are now expressing a preference for minimal interference in childbirth the most acceptable management of post-term pregnancy seems to be increased fetal surveillance. Each case needs to be considered individually and it is important that the woman is involved in the decision to induce.