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Evidence-based labor management: induction of labor (part 2)

      Induction of labor is indicated for many obstetrical, maternal, and fetal indications. Induction can be offered for pregnancy at 39 weeks’ gestation. No prediction method is considered sensitive or specific enough to determine the incidence of cesarean delivery after induction. A combination of 60- to 80-mL single-balloon Foley catheter for 12 hours and either 25-μg oral misoprostol initially, followed by 25 μg every 2–4 hours, or 50 μg every 4–6 hours (if no more than 3 contractions per 10 minutes or previous uterine surgery), or oxytocin infusion should be recommended for induction of labor. Adding membrane stripping at the beginning of induction should be considered. Once 5–6 cm of cervical dilation is achieved during the induction of labor, consideration can be given to discontinue oxytocin infusion if in use at that time and adequate contractions are present. Induction with oxytocin immediately (as soon as feasible) or up to 12 hours of term prelabor rupture of membranes if labor is not evident is recommended. Outpatient Foley ripening can be considered for low-risk women. Cesarean delivery should not be performed before 15 hours of oxytocin infusion and amniotomy if feasible and ideally after 18–24 hours of oxytocin infusion.

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