This section discusses the evidence for aspects of care during late pregnancy. At this stage, antenatal care becomes more frequent and includes planning and preparing for the birth. Some situations will require additional discussion, and women should be given advice and information to help them make informed decisions about options for interventions and birth. For example, identifying the presentation of the baby (eg breech) from 35 weeks allows for timely discussion, planning and referral if necessary. For women who have prolonged pregnancy, the longer the pregnancy the more complex the decisions may become, as the risks to the baby increase.
Recommendations are based on the evidence for interventions that aim to reduce the need for unnecessary induction or unplanned caesarean section. Decisions about women’s care are made after considering the benefits and possible risks, always taking the woman’s preferences into account. When there is a high risk of adverse outcomes, discussion with specialists (eg obstetrician, neonatologist, paediatrician) is advisable.