A non-aggressive approach to the management of post-date pregnancies was tested in a clinical trial involving 156 patients who had reached 294 days of amenorrhea and had a pelvic score of 4 or less. Dates had been established with certainty in each case. In half of the patients (the study group) no time limit was imposed on the pregnancy, but the women were checked at frequent intervals for any increase in pelvic score and for changes in any of the following: fetal movement count recorded daily by the mother, an oxytocin challenge test, and amnioscopy. The pregnancy ended either through spontaneous contractions or through surgical induction carried out because of a change in any one of the parameters or an increase above 4 in the pelvic score. In the 78 control patients labor was induced surgically on day 294, even if the pelvic score was low. In the study group, labor started spontaneously in 52 patients; labor was induced in 17 women after they showed an elevated pelvic score, in 7 because of a pathologic parameter and in one because a mild pre-eclampsia developed. There were 7 cesarean sections in the study group compared with 16 in the control group (P < 0.05). The average duration of labor was 6.7 h in the study group, compared with 9.4 h in the control (P < 0.01). There was no significant difference between the two groups with regard to meconium staining during labor, pathologic fetal heart rate, or the 5 min Apgar score. In the study group there was one neonatal death as a result of severe congenital heart disease, and in the control group one infant died due to asphyxia. It is concluded that conservative management of prolonged pregnancies, with close supervision, gives better results than routine induction of labor at 42 wk. The importance of the pelvic score as an indication for induction is stressed. A protocol has been developed which can be used in cases of uncertain dates as well.
|Number of pages
|European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
|Published - Jun 1983
- post-date pregnancy
- prolonged pregnancy