Get access


Part I. A Literature Review


University School of Nursing, Maternal-Newborn Nursing/Nurse-Midwifery Program, 855 Howard Avenue, PO Box 3333, New Haven, CT 06510–8044.


A range of literature is reviewed, including research on dating pregnancy, fetal assessment, management schemes, descriptive studies, and pediatric outcomes. Accurate dating of pregnancy (margin of error less than 2 weeks) usually is serendipitous, and the great majority of postdate pregnancies are not prolonged pregnancies. No evidence exists to suggest that infant or maternal outcomes are improved with routine induction at any gestational age. Management should be directed at appropriate fetal assessment in the interest of identifying the fetus at risk for postmaturity. The etiology of postmaturity syndrome is unknown, and its incidence within the subgroup of postmature pregnancy is between 8 and 26%, and thus will comprise approximately 1 to 2% of the total population.