ParentData with Emily Oster

Choosing to Induce: How a randomized trial gave birth to a new era in obstetrics

Dec. 14, 2023

Labor induction did not used to be the norm, but it increasingly is. A big reason for this change is something called the ARRIVE trial, which was designed to test whether routine induction would increase the risk of cesarean section - which, according to the results, it did not. In the wake of the trial, with that concern limited, many more doctors began recommending inductions as routine. (This refers to inductions that are not done by medical necessity; in many cases, it is necessary to induce, sometimes earlier than 39 weeks, to protect the health of the mother or baby.) But this doesn’t work for everyone: some people would rather not be induced, and some researchers have argued that the results from ARRIVE actually do not hold up in the real world.

Today on ParentData, Dr. Nathan Fox, an OB/GYN and co-author of Emily's upcoming book, The Unexpected: Navigating Pregnancy During and After Complications joins to discuss the ARRIVE trial, its clinical aftershocks, and the risks and benefits of letting nature take its course... or grabbing the steering wheel.

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