Induction of Labour Clinical Practice Guideline to improve consistency of care

News article

30 July 2021

The Ministry of Health has published the Induction of Labour in Aotearoa New Zealand: A Clinical Practice Guideline on its website.

The Guideline provides consistent, evidence-based guidance on induction of labour in the Aotearoa New Zealand context.

In New Zealand, the number of women/pregnant people who experience an induction of labour has steadily increased over recent years, from 19.4% in 2006 to 26.4% in 2018.

A recommendation to induce a woman/pregnant person’s labour will impact on their experience of labour, their birth plan and sometimes where the birth takes place. This guidance supports health professionals to be confident that their induction of labour recommendation is based on the best evidence available.

All health professionals providing pregnancy and birthing care to women/pregnant people, both in the community and within maternity services, are encouraged to use the guideline to help improve consistency of care.

The guideline also acknowledges that women/pregnant people should have the opportunity to make an informed choice and be fully informed about the quality of evidence underpinning a recommendation for an induction of labour.

A panel of clinicians and consumers was formed in 2018 to develop this national guidance, this panel was chaired by Dr Michelle Wise, Senior Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland.

A draft version of the guideline has been available on the University of Auckland website since December 2019 and has been utilised in clinical practice.

The guideline has gone through the Ministry of Health external maternity clinical guideline appraisal process and has been ratified by the National Maternity Monitoring Group (NMMG).

The Ministry acknowledges the valuable contribution made by the guideline panel and the NMMG for their time appraising the guideline.

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