What is the Evidence for Induction for Low Fluid (Oligohydramnios) at Term in a Healthy Pregnancy?

August 30, 2012 by Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN
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I am excited to announce that I have published my first guest article for Lamaze International’s research blog: Science and Sensibility. I would like to thank Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA) BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, community manager of Science and Sensibility, for inviting me to share my findings about low amniotic fluid with Lamaze’s readers.

Here is an excerpt. Read the entire article!

This question came from one of my readers:

“Low fluid seems to be the new “big baby” for pushing for induction. What does the research say about low fluid (oligohydramnios) at or near term? From what I’ve been able to see in research summaries at least, there appears to be no improved outcome for babies, but I’d love to see the research really hashed out. I’m also curious about causes of low fluid (theorized or known), risks of low fluid, and perhaps as important if not more so, measurements of low fluid.”

This is a great question and I felt like it was a perfect topic for my first article for Science and Sensibility. Standard of practice in the U.S. is to induce labor at term if a mother has low amniotic fluid in an otherwise healthy pregnancy. In fact, 95% of physicians who practice maternal-fetal medicine feel that isolated oligohydramnios—low amniotic fluid in an otherwise healthy pregnancy—is an indication for labor induction at 40 weeks (Schwartz, Sweeting et al. 2009).

But what is the evidence for this standard birth practice? Let’s take a look at the evidence together.

Continue reading.

A woman being induced with PitocinCredit: robenjoyce

A woman being induced with Pitocin
Credit: robenjoyce

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