Catherine Roy, Susanna Haddon and Dr Ruth-Ann Harpur are deeply concerned by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s revised guidance
Lobbying maternity organisations have convinced the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) to remove the choice for patients to consider induction of labour from 39 weeks gestation. Nice has also downgraded an offer to induce labour at 41 weeks gestation to a “discussion” (Watchdog U-turns on recommendation to induce pregnant women at 41 weeks, 4 November).
This is deeply concerning. The evidence shows that inducing labour at 39 weeks gestation reduces the chance of a caesarean birth and may lead to an easier birth (Arrive trial). There is also evidence that stillbirth increases after 41 weeks of gestation (Swepis and Index trials).