Induction of Labour – What Are The Risks Of Being Induced?

Induction of Labour - What Are The Risks Of Being Induced?

Like most pregnant women, you’ll probably reach a certain point during pregnancy when you’ve had enough.

Enough of being pregnant, uncomfortable, sore and tired.

Enough of waiting to meet the tiny person you’ve been growing for the last nine months.

Even though you don’t really like the idea of having an induction, getting the ‘heavily pregnant’ part over and done with sounds very tempting.

Some women genuinely need to have their labour induced. There are certain situations — for example, pre-eclampsia — where continuing the pregnancy is more of a risk to mother or baby than having an induction.

Induction of Labour – What Are The Risks?

So if there’s a genuine medical reason why your baby should be born as soon as possible, this article is not for you.

However, labour inductions happen more commonly for convenience rather than for medical reasons.

Sometimes it’s simply because a date has passed or a woman’s preferred doctor isn’t available around the due date.

Having an induction of labour isn’t a simple procedure and it’s not without risk. It’s not about having a bit of medicine and your labour will work just like it would have naturally.

To decide whether or not to have an induction, you need to ask yourself whether being induced is more likely to help or harm you and your baby.

“Inducing labour involves making your body/baby do something it’s not yet ready to do. Before agreeing to be induced, be prepared for the entire package, i.e. all the steps. You may be lucky enough to skip one step, but once you start the induction process, you are committed to doing whatever it takes to get the baby out, because by agreeing to induce, you are saying that you or your baby are in danger if the pregnancy continues. An induced labour is not a physiological labour, and you and your baby will be treated as high risk — because you are.”Doctor Rachel Reed

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What Is An Induction Of Labour?

When labour begins on its own (spontaneously), it triggers an amazing and complex process, involving your baby, your body and your brain.

Your baby signals when he or she is ready for life outside the uterus and your brain responds to this signal by releasing oxytocin.

During labour, this powerful hormone causes your uterus to contract, dilating the cervix and pushing your baby out.

As levels of oxytocin rise, your brain releases endorphins – nature’s painkillers.

Induction of labour bypasses these two critical steps in the labour process.

Your baby has not given the ‘ready to be born’ signals and so your body can’t respond to those signals with its own hormones.

The last weeks of pregnancy are very important.

During this time, your antibodies are passed to your baby, so the baby is prepared for fighting infection and disease after birth.

The baby is also gaining essential fat and iron stores, as well as honing skills like sucking and swallowing.

Brain development also accelerates in the last 5 weeks of pregnancy. Most importantly, your baby’s lungs are still developing, and researchers now believe there is a connection between lung development and labour.

In the weeks before labour begins, estrogen levels rise and progesterone levels drop, increasing the uterus’ sensitivity to oxytocin and preparing it for the work to come.

Braxton Hicks or ‘pre-labour’ might start the process of thinning and opening the cervix, as well as encouraging your baby to get into the optimal position for birth.

This entire process ensures labour is effective and your baby is completely ready to be born – able to adjust to life outside the uterus and start a successful breastfeeding relationship with you.

Induction essentially replaces the natural process that happens over weeks, and forces your body to go through it in a few hours. Your cervix is artificially softened and your bloodstream is flooded with synthetic hormones. Contractions are forced to happen quickly and the tempo of labour increases over a short space of time. This makes the pain much harder to manage.

Induction means you are constantly monitored. You will also have an IV drip in place, which restricts movement and your ability to work with the contractions.

Induced contractions become much stronger more quickly and are harder to cope with, so there is a greater chance that you will need to request an epidural.

You will be checked regularly for fetal distress, as a baby’s heart rate tends to dip in response to the stronger contractions.

Why Is Labour Induced?

The big question is this: Why would a low risk woman agree to be induced if her baby was not in danger?

An induction only introduces real risks to what could be a perfectly normal birth.

These are the most common reasons for induction:

Post Dates

Full term is estimated to be between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy. Your estimated due date (EDD) falls around the 40 week mark, calculated as 288 days from your last menstrual period.

Many hospitals have a policy of induction at 10 days after the EDD. In the US over 44% of women report being induced because they were full term (over 37 weeks) and were near their EDD.

Given that women have individual differences and various factors in their lives that influence their menstrual cycles, it is unreasonable to think babies should be evicted forcefully if they don’t arrive at the ‘right’ time. Research shows that pregnancies can vary in length naturally by 5 weeks.

You can read more in Estimated Due Dates And The Myth Of The 40 Week Pregnancy.

Premature Rupture Of Membranes

When the amniotic sac ruptures before labour begins, it is called premature rupture of membranes (PROM). Many women are given a time frame for contractions to begin naturally (usually 24 hours), and after that they are induced, to avoid the risk of infection.

The results of this study showed women who had experienced PROM and were screened for Group B Strep had very good outcomes when they waited for labour to begin. Induction of labour lowers the risk of infection in the mother, but not in the newborn baby; neither does it reduce the risk of needing a c-section

Antibiotics are commonly used as a preventative measure, for women whose waters have broken and labour has not begun. This review of four studies showed giving routine antibiotics (where PROM occurred at full term) did not reduce the risk of infection in pregnant women or their babies.

You can read more in What Is The Real Risk Of Infection After Waters Break?.

Suspected Large Baby

The medical term for a big baby is macrosomia. Most guidelines consider babies to be big if they weigh over 4500 grams, or 9lbs 15oz.

There are many reasons why some babies are larger than others – reasons related to genetics or to underlying health issues, such as gestational diabetes. There’s no way to measure a baby’s size and weight accurately before birth, so babies are only ‘suspected’ to be large until they are born.

Ultrasounds are not 100% accurate and there are many reports of women being induced because of a ‘big baby’ when their babies’ birth weight turns out to be average or lower.

The main concern with birthing a big baby is the risk of shoulder dystocia, where the baby’s shoulders become stuck. Often care providers will recommend induction at 38 weeks to avoid this risk.

Induction carries risks and there is no evidence to show induction for a suspected big baby improves outcomes; in fact it increases the risk of c-section.

You can read more in Macrosomia – 5 Myths About Big Babies And Birth.

Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) At Term

The growth of your baby during pregnancy depends on several factors: genes, your health, and how well the placenta is functioning.

Some babies are small for their gestational age and others are growth-restricted because they are not receiving enough nourishment via the placenta.

As in the case of a suspected big baby, it is only possible to tell whether a baby is small genetically or because of a medical problem when the baby has been born. A diagnosis of IUGR relies on accurate dating in early pregnancy.

study from the Netherlands shows waiting for labour to begin spontaneously has the same outcomes as induction for babies suspected of IUGR. The results show significantly more babies in the induction group were admitted to high or medium-level NICU care. The babies in the expectant management group, who were born when they were ready, were about 100 grams heavier than the babies in the induction group.


During pregnancy, your baby is surrounded by a sac filled with liquid called amniotic fluid. It protects your baby and the umbilical cord from trauma and infection.

Amniotic fluid is produced by the mother, absorbed by the baby through swallowing, and then excreted via the baby’s lung secretions and urine output. After 2o weeks of pregnancy, fetal urine is the primary source of fluid. The levels fluctuate, depending on how hydrated the mother is, how much the baby swallows and urinates, and whether the baby has problems with kidney function.

About 4% of women are diagnosed with low amniotic fund levels, or oligohydramnios. Low risk women at term (37-42 weeks) with a suspected diagnosis of oligohydramnios can either wait for labour (with monitoring) or be induced.

The vast majority of doctors will push for induction over expectant management. This is despite the evidence showing labour induction does not improve outcomes for babies but increases the risk of interventions and c-section. You can read more about this in Low Amniotic Fluid Levels – Oligohydramnios.

How Is Labour Induced?

Every woman’s situation is unique to her own health and the wellbeing of her baby. In order to decide between induction and waiting for labour to begin spontaneously, women need to be provided with the benefits and risks of both options.

Before choosing to be induced, you need to be aware that in most cases you can’t change your mind after the process has begun, especially in the case of artificial rupture of membranes. In the majority of situations, after an induction has begun, you will need to do whatever is needed for your baby to be born. Unless there is a clear risk in continuing with your pregnancy, induction should be an absolute last resort.

The 5 main methods of induction of labour are:

  • Stretch and sweep of membranes
  • Artificial rupture of membranes
  • Synthetic oxytocin drip
  • Prostaglandin gels
  • Balloon catheter

You can read more about stretch and sweeps here and the other methods of induction here.

This information not intended to frighten you, but to help you make a balanced, informed decision based on the risks and benefits. When it’s a question of life-saving benefits, of course, there is no risk you wouldn’t take. But if your or your baby’s life is not in danger, it’s worth considering whether induction is worth the risks to you and your baby.

Get Informed About Induction

An induction of labour triggers what is known as ‘the cascade of interventions’. What does that mean? The clip below is a snippet from the documentary, The Business of Being Born — essential viewing for anyone having a baby. If you don’t have time to purchase the DVD, you can watch the documentary via live streaming.

Finally, watch this clip from the late Marsden Wagner. Marsden was a Director of Maternal and Child Health for the World Health Organization.

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Sam McCulloch enjoyed talking so much about birth she decided to become a birth educator and doula, supporting parents in making informed choices about their birth experience. In her spare time she writes novels. She is mother to three beautiful little humans.


  1. Hi, i was induced at 38 weeks since my water broke. They said that I cannot wait for more than 24 hours after My water has gone and I need to be induced. The induction wasnt successful and my baby’s heart rate was going down so they had to take me for an emergency c section. Was it necessary for me to get induced since my water has broke or can I wait till I go on to labour naturally ?

    1. I had the same situation, when I was at 38 weeks 5 days pregnant my water broke, we went to the hospital and on duty nurse induced me with pitocin, after few hours we were told my baby was getting distressed so needed a c section, we got so much emotional about this decision as I was not prepared for it, we waited for few hours, my question is when I was totally healthy, why did the doctor has
      taken the decision for c section? My total time after broke was about 14 hours
      It would be great to share my experience with you all lovely moms

  2. i was also induced at 40 weeks my water broke and the doctor said I couldn’t wait for more than 24hours. I gave birth vaginally 7 hours after I was induced with no pain relief. I just want to find out if I could have waited longer than 24hours for labor to start naturally?

    1. My water broke when i was 28 weeks and i wasnt induce. I asked the dr if it was dangerous for the baby to be with the broken water and he said that as long as i was getting hydrated and wasnt contracting i could go for weeks with the bronken water unfortunately i started contrating 72 hrs later and my daughter was just premature didnt have any other problems because of the broken water

  3. My wife was induced and it went for 21 hours with the drip when I asked it to be turned off. She was 40 weeks and 5 days. The water had ‘leaked’ and was eventually broken as part if the induction process. Add on another 3 hours without the hormone and then a C section. Baby girl born – 4.63kg! Mum was shaking after the C section and it took them at Monash 3.5 hours to finally get mum with baby! Baby hadn’t been fed in these 3.5 hours. Great timing by the doctor, finally as Mum was with baby, doctor advised baby has to go to special care for antibiotics as Mum had a fever. Mum n baby back together 26 hours after the delivery in the transitional unit. Mum has a swollen labia / vagia, I am curious if the Syntocinon has factured into this abnormality and is the Obstretrician’s plan to bring it back to normal?? We were inducing at a rate of 144 for well over 6 hours and 168 at well over 6 hours! I see no mention of this side effect in your report? Baby will be taken off antibiotics after 48 hours. I feel the induction process played a major part in baby going into special care. Sure my wife probably would never have delivered naturally, however you are right the Obstertrician team has no idea about the womans body! They never did a later ultrasound even as the stomach measured 40 at 34 weeks!

    1. Induction results in many types of injuries to mum and bub. Giving birth at 42 weeks is normal. And honestly a womans body never grows a baby it cannot birth, unless it is macrosomic from gestational diabetes. 5 foot women can birth 10 pound babies naturally. Women are told they can’t birth naturally as a prevention of possible legal action later on by the mother. Over 7 billion people in the world have been born naturally!

  4. As a midwife in a private hospital, I thank you and commend you for a well balanced article backed up by sound research. I am horrified and deeply disappointed by the current levels of ‘social’ induction I am seeing. And yes, I definitely agree with the likelihood of increased risk of caesarian. If there are 4 booked inductions you automatically think ‘well that is probably another two caesars later today’ at the back of you mind. And forgive my ignorance if I can’t see how inducing to be born on a more ‘lucky’ day will give your child a more fortunate life if that is not really the day they were meant to be born. Please leave the medical intervention for medical reasons only. Birth is preparing you for parenting – learning to be patient, selfless and flexible!

  5. I have just reached 40 weeks in my second pregnancy and the doctors have immediately started the induction discussions. This article has given me the confidence to stand my ground for now and give baby time to come when he/she is ready! I feel great, baby is fine, and I just don’t see a need to hurry up something that will come when it is ready!

      1. Hi Kelly, our gorgeous baby girl arrived completely healthy with no complications at 40w5d! Can’t believe how strongly the Dr’s were pushing me to be induced when there was nothing wrong with either of us. She knew when she was ready…and she wasn’t late, she was perfectly on time!

        1. Crazy! Only 5% of babies are born on their due dates. 40 wks and 5 days is completely normal & healthy. But induction is not normal, healthy or safe. Owing to medical insurance issues, Drs & OBGYNs push for uneccessary inductions and cesareans to avoid being sued. It is so wrong

  6. The doctors were all pushing to induce me at 38 then 39 weeks despite my completely healthy pregnancy. Me and baby have both been completely healthy and I have been VERY comfortable and active and well the ENTIRE pregnancy. It’s because I was 40 (and just turned 41). I reviewed the risks and my husband and I refused. They say due to advanced maternal age I’m twice as likely to have a stillbirth. Our reviews of the medical data showed that translates to a 1 in 503 chance, (it’s 1 in 1006 for a woman 35 or under). So I didn’t find that to be a valid reason. Because induction has risks too, and also because we read in a medical journal that the baby’s lungs release surfactant when baby is ready to be born, then mother’s body releases hormones to start the birth process. The doctors and nurses admitted this to be true. So then, clearly our baby wasn’t ready at 38 or 39 weeks. Plus, I always had a very long menstrual cycle not the standard 28 days. We conceived within days of trying, we have had a gloriously healthy pregnancy, and are now at 40 weeks. If I go LATE they can induce, but by then at least we know we gave our baby plenty of time to develop fully, and feel better about it. Besides, NOW I’m 50% effaced and baby has dropped very low. Braxton Hicks are strong and frequent and we are READY when baby is! I feel we’ve done the right thing, standing firm on our decision as there was no complication to make an induction necessary. Again, if baby arrives too late, we will agree to induction. We are not being stubborn. We are just trying to do things as safely as we feel possible.

    1. Hi Eva, my partner and I share similar views. We have been pressured into induction at 41 weeks, though as we all know ‘term’ is considered up to 42 weeks. It is hard to understand all the dates and records being made to control a natural process. Is there such thing as ‘late’? We have also stood firm with our decision and it is a shame that you feel like you are causing a fuss and annoying the healthcare staff. Well done.. this is not being stubborn, this is being sensible and considering the best possible care for your child. 🙂

  7. In addition to my above comment, I have been checked and tested and monitored 8 ways from Sunday all throughout my pregnancy due to my “advanced maternal age”. Yes we are in our 40’s but in superb health and vitality. So they had me do DNA testing, extra blood tests, extra sonograms, extra weekly OBGYN check-ups, and twice weekly “fetal monitoring” to ensure baby’s heart is strong. I have dutifully gone to ALL these check ups (one week I had FIVE check ups in one week, but on average they schedule me for three doctor visits per week). It’s a bit annoying but I cooperate. So we know I’m healthy and so is the baby. This is why we refused induction.

  8. I was induced in 1974 when I was expecting my first daughter. The reason given was that I had high blood pressure.
    My baby was born physically normal and mentally clever, but with some behavioural difficulties. These are not severe, but have caused problems over the years which were put down to being naughty.
    I have only recently realised that induction causes lack of oxygen to the baby at birth which can have damaging results and would like to know more about this.

  9. This is really good information. I feel a natural reluctance to accept induction if baby is fine. I’m 35 weeks and in my area I’ll automatically be booked for induction at 40 weeks and 12 days. But It’s my first pregnancy (so far no complications) and I have a good chance of going over term and I hear that in France they would leave you till 43 weeks before even discussing induction. So If all goes well and they suggest booking me in, I’ll ask for the stats on stillbirth and crunch the numbers. I’ll then ask for the stats on C sections with inductions and if it all sounds ridiculous I’ll stand my ground for another few days and ask them to monitor me. Logic tells us that a healthy baby will come when it’s ready and I’m quiet convinced that induction for non medical grounds will be relegated to dark ages within 10 years.

  10. I am 42 weeks, and have just “timed-out” of my natural home birth. I feel social pressure to induce at this point because people think I’m putting my baby in danger. The emotional effects of this have been huge and now im wondering if the stress of the situation is making it worse or prolonging the start of labor. Last week’s NST was great and I’m scheduled for a second tomorrow. Maybe things will be more clear then, but is there ever a time when non emergency inductions are preferred?

    1. After that 42 week mark it does get prickly. I know women who kept going and others who didn’t. You can have an ultrasound to check placenta function, and I imagine they’d want you in for monitoring daily or so. If you want to keep going, I would agree to daily monitoring, and if baby seems fine it will be relief for all. But if they notice any stress or issues, then of course, you’d induce. Because you are so close, it may only take a small nudge to get things going. We all know dates can be inaccurate, so while you are 42 weeks on paper, baby might still be 41 or so. All the best mama – I think the very best thing you can do is trust your intuition (and work with your care provider’s observations). I think it’s a powerful thing. Mamas usually know when they no longer feel safe or something is wrong. Let us know how you go!

  11. Was over 42 weeks was booked in for induction at 39 weeks but didn’t agree the reasons given were big baby which was not even so when baby was born. Thank God i was able to follow my heart and i was not induced baby came after 42 weeks sound well and health. Be patient trust God. Go for monitoring do all you are requested to but before u go for induction make sure there are really sound reasons for it. God bless you.

  12. I’m glad to see more blogs like this. During my first pregnancy, I was uninformed and trusted my doctor. I was pressured into an induction a few days past 40 weeks. I brought up the risk of cesarean but was assured that it was unlikely. The induction failed and c section followed just as I feared. I found out months later that c section was very likely – 60% in first time mothers. When he was born, I was so sick of the torture that I refused to see him. His birth should have been an exciting event but instead it was frightening and sad. Breastfeeding was impossible. I’ve been angry for years. I was lied to. Why do doctors do this? Isn’t it malpractice? My pregnancy was perfectly normal too.
    My son currently has a language delay and I wonder whether the induction caused it (I hope it wasn’t).
    My second pregnancy was full of issues including gestational diabetes, polyhydramnios, big baby, among other things. Toward the end I had olygohydramnios. I was pressured to a c section at 37 weeks but I refused. In fact, I refused 38, 39, and 40. My doctor even had me sign a statement where she wrote that despite her advice, I was refusing. I argued with her constantly. I argued with everyone. I was THAT pregnant woman who continued to be pregnant despite all the warnings. My favorite line was “they LET you go past — weeks?” as if I needed their permission. It was very stressful being pressured at every appointment and there were tons of appointments. Despite this pregnancy being higher risk, I did my research and weighed pros and cons, controlled the diabetes and my weight. There is a lot more story but this is getting too long. To make a long story shorter, I went into labor at 40+5 which progressed extremely fast. There were too many complications so I agreed to a c section. The baby was truly at risk at that time. The point I’m trying to make is I don’t think I would have been so adamant to carry this baby to term if it hadn’t been for the botched induction the first time. I carried her an extra 4 weeks past the recommended c section date. She was supposed to be a big baby. She was supposed to have complications from the GD. She was under 7 lbs and perfectly healthy.

    I think doctors should be held accountable for pressuring women into unnecessary inductions. If nothing is wrong with the pregnancy, pressuring a woman to start the birth process unnaturally is nothing short of malpractice.

  13. My husband and I are in the UK and we came across this article when reading up on induction, as due to my age (42), we were under consultant led care at our local hospital. We were glad to find an article that didn’t gloss over the risks of sweeps and inductions, but which explained everything realistically.

    Despite the fact that we have four healthy children, aged between 3 years and 23 years of age, all the Drs we saw at our hospital were quite negative about our pregnancy. It seemed like they were obsessed by the age factor and kept over emphasising all the risks.

    They were not interested in whether we had a birth plan, or whether we wanted a natural birth – all they cared about was that we went along with their plan for how they believed we should proceed. It felt as if they were grasping at straws, trying to find other reasons to try and bully us into agreeing to their plans.

    Sadly (for them), as age was the only risk factor and all our previous births had been natural deliveries with gas and air only, we weren’t too happy when at 32 weeks, we were told that we would be having a sweep at 37 weeks. No asking us in advance, no discussion about it with us. They did not seem at all pleased when we refused this, and just kept telling us it was important for us to deliver our baby by 40 weeks, due to the risks of stillbirth etc.

    We disagreed with them, saying that we wanted to have a natural birth and wanted to wait as long as we could to give our baby a chance to come on her own.

    We were having regular scans and also seeing our midwife regularly, so we knew that our baby was growing nicely and our midwife had no worries about the health of myself or our baby, but thanks to the Drs involved, we spent the last 8 – 9 weeks of our pregnancy stressing over whether we would be coming home with a healthy baby (or not) and constantly questioning whether we were doing the right thing by refusing to cooperate with the Drs and have a sweep or induction etc.

    In the end, I was 6 days overdue and our baby came naturally, weighing just over 9lbs. She actually weighed less than my last 3 children, even with being later to arrive than all of the others.

  14. I am in my 38 weeks and already feeling tired because of the stress associated with pregnancy and I begin to give induction a thought thank you Doctor now I know it’s worth waiting than been induced.

    1. Hang in there Mary! You will be tired after the baby is here too, that wont change, so you may as well wait to reduce the chance of complications, as long as baby and yourself are healthy.

  15. We are in the U.K and I am now 17 days over the expected date I was given and being monitored very closely (a costly taxi ride everyday). There has being no pressure to be induced and in fact all midwives I’ve come across so far as very positive about our planned homebirth. This will be my 3rd baby and have being induced for my previous two as I was 14 days “overdue” but had very straight forward deliveries (under 3hrs overall).
    I’ve asked midwives if there are women who just never go into labour,as I am beginning to doubt my choices, and in each occasion they have said that they haven’t come across them but what they have seen is women with the right level of monitoring go over their dates by as much as 22 days and delivering perfectly healthy and average weighting babies. I guess what I am trying to say is that as long as the mother is well the baby is well and the experts have no real comcerns there seems to be no need for intervention.

    Also to thank you for the article.

  16. I’ll currently being pressured into induction but have been given two different EDD’s from 12wk and 20wk scan. I’m either 40+10 or 40+5 today The stress o I’m so angry that I’m being pressured into something that raises risk to me and baby based on arbitrary estimated dates despite my pregnancy being very low risk and both me and baby are perfectly healthy. The stress is surely not helping my oxytocin levels.

  17. So my son was born 4 days early, he was 8lbs 5oz. I had gestational diabetes. Now I’m on my second pregnancy, my due date is 2 days away. And they are predicting this baby to be bigger than my first. I was only 108lbs pre pregnancy and am very concerned of complications in having a big baby (over 9lbs). My sons shoulders got stuck in my first pregnancy and I pushed for 3 hours. Luckily he came out a healthy baby. But this baby is already arriving later than my first, and I’m concerned about complications. I was considering being induced even though I had always said I never would. The baby will come when he’s ready. Now I’m not so sure what to do. Help?

  18. Help please. My original EDD is for June 30 first ultrasound. My OB is insistant that the 2nd ultrasound is more accurate so based on that my EDD was June 24 which puts me at 40 +4. Most reasearch states that first US is more accurate. My OB wants to induce labour Jul 4 which would put me 10 days past due as oer EDD June 24. My concern is that throughout my whole pregnency O have gone witj June 30 EDD. What to do? I have had ane continue to have a healthy pregnency no complications.

  19. Thank you for an excellent article. And thank you to all for sharing your stories.
    We’re 40+1 with the induction talks beginning during today’s midwife checkup.
    From the off I’ve been researching about induction and the impact that the medicalisation of birth has on induction rates.
    Me and baby are healthy and have been throughout the entire pregnancy. Not even a moment of sickness.
    We’ve decided we want to proceed naturally (as long as baby continues to be healthy) and have conveyed this to the midwives. In turn they have provided advice on ‘managing the medicos’. Being informed is crucial. We’re also happy to have check ups to monitor baby over the next weeks.
    Its not until you do some digging that you realise the true risks and the probable outcomes of induction, especially for a first baby.
    EDD is <4% accurate by the medicinal fraternity's own admission, so why is it used as an instrument of coercion…? There was a study done that demonstrated up to 37d variance in delivery day even when the ovulation cycle and dates were known!
    It's the same scenario with cord blood donation. 'Un'-information and misinformation. Do your own research and uncover that cord blood donation means that you have authorised for your baby to sacrifice a third of their blood volume. Imagine doing that at the blood bank drive…
    Be informed. Research. Read widely.

  20. One other note: as a 46 year old man who was induced I can tell you that throughout my life I have always struggled with being late. I am never quite “ready” when others want me to be. I have noticed that my natural pace is always just a little slower than the average—but when I trust my instincts and take my time things always work out better for me. It’s interesting to me—whether it is showing up for appointments, finishing projects or keeping time with the yoga instructors breathing suggestions—I always find that my natural pace is slower and more thourogh than most people.
    Things have a natural rythm and a pace and life just works so much better when you let things ripen before you pluck them.

    I’m also “on the spectrum” although mildly so.

    I also just read some research that suggests it is the baby that signals the mother when it is ready to be born. This ties neatly into the feelings I have had of not being in control of my own life. I have felt like outside forces come in and control what happens to me (I was also sent to boarding school on the other side of the planet at age 8)—it’s only very recently that I have come to see that I can, to a very large degree, have control over my life and make things happen the way that I want.
    I feel that I am finally stepping into a way of being I the world where I am in charge, and although it’s taken a really long time, I finally feel like an adult and I’m really having a good time with life.

    I wonder how things might have been different.

    However, in that place of “knowing” —-that place of “intuition” I can say that it is strongly obvious to me that labor should not be induced. I know I was not ready and I know, given enough time I would have been born, perfectly healthy and ready to take on the world.

  21. HI everyone, I’m 40weeks today, I’m scheduled for an induction this evening and I’m a bit skeptical. I’m in my Final year in a school of Architecture, I discussed with my Dr concerning my Project defense in school scheduled for next week Monday, and knowing the invigilators would doubt I did the Project myself in this condition, and that may make me fail. I request for a membrane sweep and the Dr said he doesn’t believe in it. That he’d rather book me for an induction. Going through this article has made me skeptical. Do you think my reason is enough reason? And is it wise I go on with the induction??

    1. The health of your baby is better than certificate. If anything goes wrong because of the induction, a lifetime may not be enough to correct it. Give your baby your best if you love him.

    1. It is absolutely not meant to scare women. It is meant to inform women, as they are so often misled by their care providers about induction methods. Being informed is the best way to eliminate fear and make positive progress. Induction has its time and place but is too often done unnecessarily. This article is meant to help mothers in a decision making process that has a serious effect on both their health and their baby’s.

  22. I have stumbled across these articles, I was induced and I was wondering if my slow weight loss and still swollen tummy was the reason!

    Whilst reading through some of the articles I felt I must comment.
    I had my first daughter at 40! I have always been fit, healthy and I had an excellent pregnancy and labour.

    To our suprise I found myself pregnant at 43!! The pregnancy went well, my body felt a little more tired however fine! We paid for private scans and advanced testing for Down’s etc as we were scare mongered by the NHS due to age.

    All was fine, midwife check-ups good I was charting for another good sized baby. Prior to my midwife appointment at 36 weeks I had noticed my bump had not grown much however my baby had lowered herself and I assumed that was the reason. At the appointment at 36 weeks with my midwife she told me my baby hadn’t grown since last measuring, I went for a scan, we were so shocked as our baby girl was not measuring as she should have been. I didn’t want to be induced I wanted a normal labour like I had however, in the space of less than two weeks my baby girl had gone from 95 centile to below 10!

    I had no choice as my baby comes first! Due to my age the placenta wasn’t feeding her sufficiently. This I belive is fairly common with us older mums!!!

    My second daughter is perfect! She’s much smaller than her sister! My partner and I are very very lucky to have them both. I thank God, consultant, midwife that my baby girl arrived safely. My advice to older mums…. Do what you feel is right. When a consultant tells you inducement is best follow the advice, I knew he was right!

    1. As a mother of a stillborn baby, I completely agree with your comments. Listen to your doctors and understand the risks, then make your own decision based on the balance of risks.

  23. I find some of the responses here really unhelpful. Just because refusing to be induced worked for some doesn’t mean it’s ‘female power’ to go against medical advice! Drs are doing their best and want a good outcome for mum and baby so I’m not sure encouraging other women to ignore a specialist’s advice is really empowering or actually just forcing your personal view into others. Being pregnant is confusing enough without every woman who pushed a baby out piping up, I think best to leave it to professionals and your OWN view not what other mums tell you!

  24. I was induced at 32 weeks because my doctor was going on vacation. He never did a sonogram during my pregnancy. My daughter was born two months early. She immediately went into respiratory distress – she stopped breathing. Her lungs were not fully developed. She was revived and sent to the nearest hospital with a NICU unit. She is now 31 years old. Lead a very active, athletic life growing up.

    Why would a doctor risk inducing a baby that young for convenience? There were no negative health concerns to initiate labor early.

  25. I find it surprising that many here are commenting this is a “balanced” article. It goes through the risks of induction well but does not go through any of the risks of being post-dates. Very one-sided. I’m all for shared decision making in healthcare but anyone reading this article should do further research before challenging their health care professionals advice.

  26. hello. i am currently 39 weeks pregnant with my first child and i was informed by the doctor today that if i do not go into spontaneous labor by the end of this week, he told me this because he suspects my baby is large and is afraid of complications during childbirth. i am to present myself for an induction when i turn 40 weeks, which is just next Monday. i have read a lot about induction and i honestly do not see the reason why i should do it if my baby an i are not really at risk. this particular article has provided me with a lot of information i needed about being induced especially with regards to the reasons why labor might be induced. could someone please help me out with some questions that i could ask my doctor when i go and see him in order for me to make a more informed decision when the time comes.

    1. Sorry you’re having some challenges. Have you asked him what his evidence is that this will be a big baby, and why he thinks it’ll be a problem? If both you and the baby are healthy, and there are no test results to indicate issues, there’s no real evidence. If it’s a case of a doctor not trusting your body, it’s a sign of what’s to come with the rest of the labour. See if you can get a second opinion, or get some recommendations for woman-centred ob/gyns.

      I’ve seen 10 and 11lb babies born fine. I’ve heard of small babies getting stuck. The very best thing you can do for a better birth is absorb all you can from Spinning Babies, asap. More often than not, it’s not the size… but baby’s position.

      Check out this article:


  27. Wow! Thanks for the enlightenment. I’m 38 weeks gone. I noticed reduced fetal movement this morning. I complained to my doctor, comprehensive scan was conducted and result says all is fine (as explained by my doctor). Even at that, my doctor wants me to be induced… I’ve refused since everything is under control. I’ll wait for spontaneous labour

    1. I’m glad everything is okay with your baby 🙂 If there’s nothing wrong, then there’s no need to interfere. However, always trust your instincts – if you feel like something is wrong, always seek advice. Also, be sure to be up to date with the latest information on counting baby kicks/fetal movement. Please read our article here. All the best for a wonderful birth!

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