Labor induction benefits: the latest research

Mishanina et al. (2014). “Use of labour induction and risk of cesarean delivery: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” Canadian Medical Association Journal (early release version, published online: 28 April 2014)”

This large, comprehensive, meta-analysis of 157 randomized controlled trials provides the most compelling evidence yet that induction of labor actually lowers the risk of cesarean delivery. In fact, the authors found that the use of induction vs. expectant management reduced the overall risk of term and post-term cesarean delivery by 12% for nearly every possible indication, including no indication, in both high and low risk pregnancies, and even in situations where the cervix was unfavorable (i.e., low Bishop’s score). The study noted other benefits of induction, as well, including reduced risk of the baby’s admission to the intensive care unit (NICU) and a 50% reduction in the risk of fetal death. Induction was shown to have no impact on the risk of maternal death.

Conclusion: Non-indicated term labor induction, as compared to expectant management, leads to LOWER risk of C/S, NICU admission and fetal death (benefits occur irrespective of cervical status).

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