Induction of labor in outpatient settings appears to be feasible in healthy, low-risk pregnant women at term, according to a recent Cochrane review of pharmacological and mechanical interventions for labor induction in outpatient settings. The updated review included 34 studies of 11 different methods for labor induction. 5,003 randomized women either received treatment at home or were sent home after initial treatment and monitoring in the hospital. Among the findings:
- Outpatient induction and enabling women to return home to wait for labor to start appears feasible.
- There was some evidence that compared to placebo or no treatment, induction agents administered on an outpatient basis reduced the need for additional interventions to induce labor, and shortened the interval from intervention to birth.
- There was no strong evidence, however, that agents used to induce labor in outpatient settings had an impact (positive or negative) on maternal or neonatal health.
Vogel JP, Osoti AO, Kelly AJ, Livio S, Norman JE, Alfirevic Z. Pharmacological and mechanical interventions for labour induction in outpatient settings. Cochrane Database of Syst Rev. 2017, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD007701. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007701.pub3.