Should I get induced? Labor & Birth

iStock/Bunwit

Woman getting ready to go into labor/delivery.
iStock/Bunwit
Some moms-to-be wonder whether having labor induced is a good idea. The answer? It's complicated! Get advice from experts and other moms with different schools of thought about induction.

If There's a Medical Reason for It

"The decision to get induced is like any other medical decision, so you need to speak to your doctor about it. However, I usually explain to my patients that you need to consider both the mother and the baby in certain situations and choose the one that gives you both a healthy outcome. Scenarios where induction can lead to a healthy outcome would be in cases of preeclampsia, poor fetal growth, or diabetes. I think sometimes women can get so caught up in their birth plan to go into labor and...

"The decision to get induced is like any other medical decision, so you need to speak to your doctor about it. However, I usually explain to my patients that you need to consider both the mother and the baby in certain situations and choose the one that gives you both a healthy outcome. Scenarios where induction can lead to a healthy outcome would be in cases of preeclampsia, poor fetal growth, or diabetes. I think sometimes women can get so caught up in their birth plan to go into labor and deliver naturally that they lose sight of what's important. Just as with everything in life, labor and delivery often does not go as planned, so you have to keep the big picture in mind." -- Sarah Yamaguchi, MD, OB/GYN at Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles, CA

If Your OB or Midwife Recommends

"Labor is typically induced if you are seven-plus days past your due date (since it can be dangerous for the baby if pregnancy extends into the 'post-dates' period) or have any pregnancy complications or fetal complications warranting delivery. Most OBs and midwives will not let the pregnancy progress beyond 42 weeks. Induction for the sake of having the baby at your desired time is not recommended." -- Sheeva Talebian, MD, member of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), New York, NY

It Is a Personal Decision

"I was past my due date and so physically uncomfortable. My hips hurt so bad I'd cry when I'd have to lie on my side and I could barely walk or move by myself. That was my reason for getting induced."

You Have the Option to Wait It Out

"I would just wait until 41 to 42 weeks and try doing some natural induction techniques including dancing, sitting on a birth ball, having sex, walking, and drinking a lot of water. Try them all before getting induced."

Induction May Mean More Hospital Time

"I had an induction with my first child at 41 weeks. It took a whole day of being in the hospital before my labor started. I was so uncomfortable trying to sleep in the delivery room, and waiting was frustrating. With my second baby, I went into labor naturally at 40 weeks and two days. I was happier being at home in the beginning of labor, and I felt the whole process was much less complicated and easier. If I had to do the first one all over again, I think I'd wait it out longer."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.