Nonmedically indicated induction vs expectant treatment in term nulliparous women

Jennifer L. Bailit, William Grobman, Yuan Zhao, Ronald J. Wapner, Uma M. Reddy, Michael W. Varner, Kenneth J. Leveno, Steve N. Caritis, Jay D. Iams, Alan T. Tita, George Saade, Yoram Sorokin, Dwight J. Rouse, Sean C. Blackwell, Jorge E. Tolosa, J. Peter Vandorsten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objective The purpose of this study was to compare maternal and neonatal outcomes in nulliparous women with nonmedically indicated inductions at term vs those expectantly treated.

Study Design Data were obtained from maternal and neonatal charts for all deliveries on randomly selected days across 25 US hospitals over a 3-year period. A low-risk subset of nulliparous women with vertex nonanomalous singleton gestations who delivered 38 0/7 to 41 6/7 weeks were selected. Maternal and neonatal outcomes for nonmedically indicated induction within each week were compared with women who did not undergo nonmedically indicated induction during that week. Multivariable analysis was used to adjust for hospital, maternal age, race/ethnicity, body mass index, cigarette use, and insurance status.

Results We found 31,169 women who met our criteria. Neonatal complications were either less frequent with nonmedically indicated induction or no different between groups. Nonmedically indicated induction was associated with less frequent peripartum infections (odds ratio [OR], 0.39; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.16-0.98) at 38 weeks of gestation and less frequent third- and fourth-degree lacerations (OR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.42-0.86) and less frequent peripartum infections (OR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.49-0.90) at 39 weeks of gestation. Nonmedically indicated induction was associated with a longer admission-to-delivery time by approximately 3-4 hours and increased odds of cesarean delivery at 38 (OR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.08-2.08) and 40 weeks (OR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.15-1.46) of gestation.

Conclusion At 39 weeks of gestation, nonmedically indicated induction is associated with lower maternal and neonatal morbidity than women who are expectantly treated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103.e1-103.e7
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • induction
  • nonmedically indicated induction
  • nulliparous women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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