To determine if labor induction is necessary, your doctor will evaluate several factors, including your health, your baby’s health, the baby’s gestational age and size, the baby’s position in the uterus, and the status of your cervix. It may be recommended if you are approaching two weeks beyond your due date, and labor has not begun naturally or your water has broken, but you’re not having any contractions at all.
Other reasons labor induction is recommended is if there is an infection in your uterus, your placenta has begun to deteriorate, or you have a medical condition that might put you and the baby at risk, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
Sometimes labor induction can be a practical matter. If you live far from the hospital or you have a history of speedy deliveries, a scheduled induction might help you avoid an unattended delivery. If this happens, your doctor will confirm that your baby’s gestational age is at least 39 weeks or older before induction to reduce the risk of health problems for your baby.
Some women will request the procedure for convenience before it’s necessary, but that’s usually not recommended. Unnecessary labor induction can pose unnecessary risks, such as a premature birth that can cause the baby to have difficulty breathing or other various risks. In this case, trust that your doctor will make the best decision for you.