The degree of fetal maturity is important in obstetrical decision making for high risk pregnancies. An immature fetus is an high risk for respiratory problems and for death. In many situations there is difficulty deciding between the risk to the fetus from continued intrauterine gestation and the risk from early delivery. Analysis of amniotic fluid can help determine if the fetus is sufficiently mature to be delivered safely. This scoring system antedates several newer tests for fetal lung maturity.