Infant Journal
for neonatal and paediatric healthcare professionals

NICE recommends offering women induced labour earlier

The draft guideline, recommends that women with uncomplicated singleton pregnancies should be offered induction at 41 weeks and the induction should take place as soon as possible. Previous guidelines from 2008 advised induction between 41 and 42 weeks, and that women who had chosen not to be induced should be monitored after 42 weeks. If women choose not to have induced labour their decision should be supported and their care options discussed with them.

Recent research which compared induction times and outcomes showed higher infant mortality after 42 weeks if the woman had not been induced.

The NICE independent advisory guideline committee also recommended that more research should be done to establish at what gestational age induction of labour should be offered in the groups of women who may be more likely to experience adverse outcomes if their pregnancy continues. These groups include women of black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds, women with a BMI over 30, and women aged over 35 years.

The draft guideline is now open for consultation and comments. Visit:

Women should be offered induced labour earlier than previously advised to make birth safer for them and their babies.