Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2022) National Core Maternity Indicators, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 29 September 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2022). National Core Maternity Indicators. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/national-core-maternity-indicators
National Core Maternity Indicators. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 28 September 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/national-core-maternity-indicators
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. National Core Maternity Indicators [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2022 [cited 2022 Sep. 29]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/national-core-maternity-indicators
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2022, National Core Maternity Indicators, viewed 29 September 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/national-core-maternity-indicators
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Induction is an intervention to stimulate the onset of labour. It is performed for a number of reasons related to both the mother and the baby, such as maternal or baby medical conditions and post-term pregnancy (Coates et al 2020). For more information, see Clinical commentary.
This indicator looks at induction of labour for selected women giving birth for the first time.
The interactive data visualisation below presents data on induction of labour in selected women giving birth for the first time by selected maternal characteristics. Click the Data tables button to view the data between 2004 and 2020 and use the radio buttons to see how each characteristic has changed during this time.
Induction of labour for selected women giving birth for the first time, by State/territory of birth and all Australia, 2004 to 2020.
This chart shows the proportion of induced labour for selected women giving birth for the first time, by state/territory of birth, 2004 to 2020. Data can be viewed for each state/territory of birth, and for all Australia. The proportion for selected women induced in giving birth for the first time increased from 26% in 2004 to 46% in 2020.
When induction of labour is indicated on medical grounds, it is undertaken when the risks of continuing the pregnancy are greater than the risks associated with being born (McDonnell 2011). For the woman to make a fully informed decision, clear information should be given regarding the risks of continuing the pregnancy and awaiting the spontaneous onset of labour versus the risks of the intervention of induction.
Maternal factors such as wellbeing, cervical assessment, parity and previous mode of delivery, and fetal factors such as gestational age, growth and wellbeing of the fetus need to be considered when deciding whether labour should be induced (McCarthy & Kenny 2013). These factors also assist in determining the method of induction, which can be surgical (including artificial rupture of membranes) and/or medical (including use of prostaglandins and/or oxytocin) (RANZCOG 2021; Queensland Health 2017).
There are numerous indications for induction of labour. Prolonged pregnancy is the most common indication, with births after 42 weeks associated with increased risk for the baby and perinatal death (Gulmezoglu et al. 2012). It is widely recommended that induction be offered to women at 41–42 weeks of gestation (Gulmezoglu et al. 2012; NICE 2008; Queensland Health 2017).
Excel source data tables are available from the Data tab.
For more information refer to Specifications and notes for analysis in the technical notes.
Coates D, Makris A, Catling C, Henry A, Scarf V, Watts N, Fox D, Thirukumar P, Wong V, Russell H and Homer C (2020) ‘A systematic scoping review of clinical indications for induction of labour’, PLOS One, 15(1): e0228196, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0228196.
Gulmezoglu AM, Crowther CA, Middleton P & Heatley E (2012). Induction of labour for improving birth outcomes for women at or beyond term. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 6:CD004945.
McDonnell R (2011). Induction of labour. O&G Magazine 13(3):62–4.
McCarthy FP & Kenny LC (2013). Induction of labour. Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine, 24(1):9–15.
NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) (2008). Induction of labour: NICE clinical guideline 70. Manchester: NICE.
Queensland Health (2017). Queensland Maternity and Neonatal Clinical Guidelines Program 2017. Queensland maternity and neonatal clinical guideline: induction of labour. Brisbane: Queensland Health.
RANZCOG (Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) (2021). Induction of labour (PDF). Viewed 17 August 2022.
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