Choosing Wisely:

Don’t schedule non–medically-indicated (elective) inductions of labor or cesarean deliveries before 39 weeks 0 days gestational age.

Rationale and Comments: Delivery prior to 39 weeks 0 days has been shown to be associated with an increased risk of learning disabilities and a potential increase in morbidity and mortality. There are clear medical indications for delivery prior to 39 weeks and 0 days based on maternal and/or fetal conditions. A mature fetal lung test, in the absence of appropriate clinical criteria, is not an indication for delivery.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • Sources:
  • California Department of Public Health
  • Disciplines:
  • Obstetrical
  • References: • Main E, et al. Elimination of nonmedically indicated (elective) deliveries before 39 weeks gestational age. California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative Toolkit to Transform Maternity Care. Developed under contract #08-85012 with the California Department of Public Health; Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division. First edition published by March of Dimes, July 2010.

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