NIHR Signal: Induction of labour may be considered in pregnant women with a large baby

NIHR
Image Source: NIHR

Induction of labour does not increase the risk of caesarean delivery in pregnant women with a larger than average baby.

This is based on a review of four trials of 1190 women with a suspected large baby who were allocated either to have labour induced from 38 weeks or to watchful waiting.

Induction did not increase the risk of most negative outcomes for the baby, such as bleeding in the brain, or mother, such as major tearing. However, these outcomes are rare, so a larger number of women would need to be studied to be confident in these findings. When mothers were not induced babies were larger and born about a week later than if they were induced. They did suffer from more fractures, which can be a complication of delivering a larger baby.

Current guidance recommends only offering induction at 41 or 42 weeks in otherwise healthy women who have a larger than average baby.

This analysis suggests that earlier induction is likely to be safe and may be an option for women to consider.

Read the whole review here

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