Change in timing of induction protocol in nulliparous women to optimise timing of birth: results from a single centre study

Laura Slade, Georgina Digance, Angela Bradley, Richard Woodman, Rosalie Grivell

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Background: Induction of labour (IOL) is a common obstetric intervention. When planning IOL, especially in women at risk for complications at delivery, the aim should be for delivery to occur when senior staff are available to optimise safe care. Methods: A change in timing of IOL protocol at our institution was introduced in November 2018 aiming to increase births occurring “in-hours” defined as 08:00 to 20:00 h. This retrospective cohort study compares the odds of “in-hours” birth before and after the intervention and the association on birth outcomes. The study compared outcomes during the new IOL pathway period to a historical birth cohort from January to December 2017. Inclusion criteria were nulliparous women undergoing planned IOL at term with a cephalic singleton pregnancy. Logistic regression was used to compare odds of in-hours birth for the 2 periods with adjustment for maternal age at delivery, gestation, more than 2 cervical ripening agents required, undergoing IOL for post-dates pregnancy, mode of birth, whether or not IOL proceeded according to planned protocol and missing values using multiple imputation. Results: The rate of deliveries occurring in-hours were higher following the intervention; n = 118/285 (45.6%) pre-intervention versus n = 251/470 (53.4%) post-intervention; adjusted OR = 1.47, 95% CI = 1.07–2.01, p = 0.02). The percentage of caesarean sections (CS) occurring in-hours was significantly lower in the pre-intervention group n = 71/153 (28.3%) compared with the post intervention group = 35/132(46.4%) (p < 0.001)). The rate of CS was higher in the pre intervention n = 132/285(46.3%) compared with the post intervention group n = 153/470 (32.4%)). Conclusions: The change in induction procedures was associated with a significantly higher rate of births occurring in-hours and a lower rate of overall of CS. This policy change led to a better pattern of timing of birth for nulliparous women undergoing IOL.

Original languageEnglish
Article number316
Number of pages6
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2022


  • Cervical ripening
  • Cesarean section
  • Induction of labour
  • Obesity in pregnancy
  • Pregnancy complications


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