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Systematic review with meta analysis
Induction of labour at 37 weeks for suspected fetal macrosomia may reduce birth trauma
  1. Kate Walker1,
  2. Jim Thornton2
  1. 1 Child Health, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2 The University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jim Thornton, The University of Nottingham, Hucknall Road, Nottingham NG5 1PB, UK; jim.thornton{at}

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Citation: Magro-Malosso ER, Saccone G, Chen M, et al. Induction of labour for suspected macrosomia at term in non-diabetic women: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BJOG 2017;124:414-21.


Mothers with big babies tend to have longer labours and more difficult births. They may require caesarean section, or instrumental vaginal delivery. They may also sustain perineal injury or more seriously the head may deliver and the shoulders get stuck, so-called shoulder dystocia. This severe complication may cause birth injury, including brachial plexus injury (2%–16%) which may be permanent and disabling. Finally, the baby may suffer bony fractures or birth asphyxia with risk of neurological damage or death. Obstetricians have wondered whether inducing labour early might make birth easier and reduce injury, …

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  • Competing interests JT reports personal fees and non-financial support from Ferring Pharmaceuticals. KW has no conflicts of interest to declare.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.