Term elective induction of labour and perinatal outcomes in obese women: Retrospective cohort study

V. R. Lee, B. G. Darney, J. M. Snowden, E. K. Main, W. Gilbert, J. Chung, A. B. Caughey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Objective To compare perinatal outcomes between elective induction of labour (eIOL) and expectant management in obese women. Design Retrospective cohort study. Setting Deliveries in California in 2007. Population Term, singleton, vertex, nonanomalous deliveries among obese women (n = 74 725). Methods Women who underwent eIOL at 37 weeks were compared with women who were expectantly managed at that gestational age. Similar comparisons were made at 38, 39, and 40 weeks. Results were stratified by parity. Chi-square tests and multivariable logistic regression were used for statistical comparison. Main outcome measures Method of delivery, severe perineal lacerations, postpartum haemorrhage, chorioamnionitis, macrosomia, shoulder dystocia, brachial plexus injury, respiratory distress syndrome. Results The odds of caesarean delivery were lower among nulliparous women with eIOL at 37 weeks [odds ratio (OR) 0.55, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.34-0.90] and 39 weeks (OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.63-0.95) compared to expectant management. Among multiparous women with a prior vaginal delivery, eIOL at 37 (OR 0.39, 95% CI 0.24-0.64), 38 (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.51-0.82), and 39 weeks (OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.56-0.81) was associated with lower odds of caesarean. Additionally, eIOL at 38, 39, and 40 weeks was associated with lower odds of macrosomia. There were no differences in the odds of operative vaginal delivery, lacerations, brachial plexus injury or respiratory distress syndrome. Conclusions In obese women, term eIOL may decrease the risk of caesarean delivery, particularly in multiparas, without increasing the risks of other adverse outcomes when compared with expectant management. Tweetable abstract Elective induction of labour in obese women does not increase risk of caesarean or other perinatal morbidities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-278
Number of pages8
JournalBJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Caesarean delivery
  • elective induction of labour
  • maternal obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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