To compare labour and delivery outcomes in women undergoing induction and those having spontaneous onset for pregnancies past the estimated date of delivery, a prospective study of 395 singleton, uncomplicated pregnancies was performed. Labour was induced in 175 women. Overall caesarean section rate was 9.4%, with no significant difference between the 2 groups. Overall rate of assisted vaginal deliveries was 7%, higher in the induction group than the spontaneous onset group but the difference was not significant. There was no significant difference in occurrence of intrapartum meconium, nor for maternal morbidity. No neonate needed intubation. No perinatal deaths occurred. Perinatal mortality and morbidity are preventable, and induction of labour before 42 weeks is justifiable to prevent adverse outcomes.
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