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Delivery at term: when, how and why

Walker, Kate F.; Thornton, Jim

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Clinical Professor

Jim Thornton


The optimal timing of delivery for the baby is 39 weeks, avoiding the morbidity associated with early term birth and reducing the risk of antepartum stillbirth.

There is compelling evidence that among high-risk pregnancies and in settings where cesarean rates are high (>20%), induction of labor at 37 to 40 weeks does not, as previously thought, result in a further increased risk of cesarean delivery.

The only advantage to planned cesarean delivery over induction of labor is the avoidance of the morbidity associated with emergency cesarean delivery; controversy exists on the other reported benefits.

There is a growing number of well-conducted randomized controlled trials that provide some support for induction of labor shortly before term for a variety of indications (hypertensive disorders, gestational diabetes, suspected growth restriction, macrosomia, and advanced maternal age).

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 19, 2018
Online Publication Date Feb 19, 2018
Publication Date Jun 1, 2018
Deposit Date Jun 5, 2018
Publicly Available Date Feb 20, 2019
Journal Clinics in Perinatology
Print ISSN 0095-5108
Electronic ISSN 1557-9840
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 45
Issue 2
Keywords Term; Induction of labor; Cesarean delivery; Antepartum stillbirth
Public URL
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