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You are warmly invited to participate in a research study to find out if there is a more woman, family and whānau friendly approach to induction of labour.

This research study is called the OBLIGE study, comparing two common ways of starting the process of inducing labour (Outpatient Balloon catheter and Inpatient prostaglandin Gel).

Most women planning induction of labour at 37 weeks or more with a healthy baby would be suitable to participate.

Please watch the video below:

The balloon catheter is a more natural way of starting labour, by encouraging the release of your own natural hormones to soften the cervix and prepare it for labour. Starting labour with a balloon is safe and does not require extra monitoring. Women who receive the balloon will go home for the first 18-24 hours.

We think that in the future, women may want to have the opportunity to go home with a balloon for part of their induction—this research will help us find out if this is what pregnant women in New Zealand want, and to make sure it is safe and effective.

Find out common reasons for induction of labour

  • Going overdue or past your due date
  • Diabetes in pregnancy
  • High blood pressure in pregnancy
  • Slowing of baby’s growth
  • Maternal age 40 and over
  • Maternal request
  • In vitro fertilisation

Find out reasons you may not be suitable for this study

  • Previous Caesarean
  • Twins
  • Ruptured membranes
  • Concern about you or your baby that mean your doctor advised you to remain in hospital

Common ways of inducing labour

Image reproduced with permission from the Mercy Perinatal Antenatal Toolkit

Photograph of a balloon catheter

Foley catheter


This study is up and running at 10 hospitals around New Zealand.

Contact details

For any questions, ring Mariska on 021 173 0115



  • This study is proudly supported by