48 answers

Pros and Cons of Being Induced.

My doc wants to induce me at 39 weeks (my second pregnancy.) I had raised glucose for one test (they did 3) but did not actually get the Gestational Diabetes diagnosis and it's been under control on it's own. Anyway, I really don't want to be induced, but she assures me that with the second baby it will be fine. I'm terrified of having a C-section though so that's another concern for me. I'd love to hear any stories or advice you may have. Thanks! (Ed. Note: Thanks for all the responses so far. To answer a couple questions that were asked - my baby is measuring perfect size. Actually up until about 6 weeks ago, he was measuring small. My doc has not mentioned a medical reason for inducing at 39 wks, just that it would guarantee she would deliver the baby and other conveniences for me as well. She won't let me go past 40 though b/c of the raised glucose. I'm just praying he comes on his own soon!)

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the responses! This was very helpful to read. Well, with so much going on for us personally and with the amount of discomfort I had in the last week or so of the pregnancy, I decided to schedule an induction. I didn't do it at 39 weeks, I waited until my due date. I prayed and prayed I'd go into labor before that date on my own and it never happened. I was scheduled to go in at midnight and was having cramps, which I chalked up to nerves. Well it turns out that I was going into labor! I didn't know it until they hooked me up to the monitors and saw that I was having contractions. They started me on a very low dose of pitocin, but my contractions were so strong and my water broke so they turned it off shortly after. Because of that, I had a great labor and delivery. No pain driving to the hospital, but my baby and my body were ready to deliver without much of an 'artificial' push (and No C-section!). And I was surprised at how much quicker the delivery of #2 was. He's a perfect and healthy baby boy - thanks again for all the advice!

Featured Answers

Mom of 2 great boys and was induced for both. Would take the drugs, catheter, bed, monitor and all any day. It made the whole process that much more enjoyable and not too tired to enjoy my new little one...

i chose to be induced and would recommend it. it was a great experience for me and it is nice knowing when it will happen so people can take off of work LOL and also getting the dr you want is a good perk. my entire labor & del was only 8 hrs from the time they broke my water

Induction is no big deal. I think you should just do it and have the baby. At this age, babies are safer on the outside. Get it over with and start on that path of having two under two.

Hang tight. My kids are 21 months apart and it was crazy that first year. I could only take it for about 4 months then I had to go back to work part-time to keep my sanity. That's what you should really be worried about.

Best wishes for a healthy baby.

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There is no way any doctor can guarantee you that your baby will be just fine because it's the second baby??? Based on what?
A lot of people already pointed out that induction is in intervention. Any intervention should have a MEDICAL reason. A raised glucose test sometime during pregnancy is not a medical indication for induction.

You also received some anecdotal stories in some of the responses.
In addition, I suggest you educate yourself, learn what the evidence says, what the actual recommendations are, listen to your intuition about that what is the best course of action for you AND for your baby.

Suggested starting points for you to educate yourself further:

About Normal Birth
Point 1) addresses induction specifically, but you might want to read all of the information linked to from this page, as - induced or not- all of these will play a role and you will have to make decisions during the course of your labor.

Bishop Score (adapted) - how likely is the induction to succeed?


Having a Baby? Ten Questions to Ask

Informed Decision Making, Informed Consent or Refusal

The Rights of Childbearing Women

go to www.mothering.com, and search for induction, you will find a number of articles dealing with the issue from various angles. Articles do include references.
A few examples of the articles:

If you want to go into more depth and are not afraid of more technical jargon, check out chapters 39 and 40 which deal with induction.

Yes, I know this is a lot of information, a lot of links, a lot to read and digest. And I'm not saying you have to read all of it, but the better informed you are, the better you know what the medical research says about induction, and its risks for you and the baby, and what the true indications are for induction, the better you will be able to make a truly informed decision.

Best wishes and good luck!

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ACOG (American College of OB/Gyn) does not recommend induction until 42 completed weeks of gestation, barring a medical indication. So I don't know whose regs your OB is following... but it's not the ones she's supposed to be. You're more likely to acheive a normal, vaginal birth if you go into labor spontaneously. Your instincts in this appear to be spot on.

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Getting induced without a medical reason is inviting all the medical risks of induction without getting any benefit. If there is no medical reason for being induced JUST SAY NO!

To see if you're a "good" candidate for an induction -- meaning that the induction is less likely to fail and you end up with a C-section, you need to know your Bishop's score, which is a compilation of various physical factors (how far dilated and effaced you already are, among other things). If you're under a certain number, the induction is likely to fail and you will end up with a C-section. If you're over a certain number, the induction is likely to succeed and you will have a vaginal birth. Many times doctors induce women who are poor candidates for induction, and then they end up with a C-section. The best way to avoid a C-section is to avoid intervention, including an induction. Wait for labor to start naturally, because the beginning of labor is a sign from your baby that s/he's ready to be born. If you start labor artificially, your body may not cooperate, because it knows that your baby is not ready to be born, and is trying to protect your baby from an early birth.

Again, induction carries medical risks -- be sure you know what these risks are before you consent to it! If there is no medical reason for an induction why take the risk??

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I am a Labor/Birth Doula, and I suggest staying away from pitocin/induction if at all possible.

WALK WALK WALK!!! LUNGE LUNGE LUNGE !!! SQUAT SQUAT AND DO IT SOME MORE! As your body gets ready to birth this baby, your pelvis area is opening (on its own)and preparing for the baby's descent.

I would recommend letting nature take its course. Your body knows when baby is ready to come. Pitocin causes stronger and stressful contractions. If your water has broken, induction can be VERY stressful to baby since there is no buffer and your uterine wall is pushing and pushing on baby.

Here is a typical scenario: Due to the pitocin causing more painful contractions, your caregivers will probably suggest an epidural. Then you are numb from the waist down and they'll catheterize you for urine output. Epidural can cause your blood pressure to decrease and they'll want to have you on a constant blood pressure monitor.
Gravity is your best friend during labor. Laboring on your back in bed is not how its supposed to be. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO LABOR WELL WHEN YOU ARE TIED TO THE BED WITH ALL THESE TUBES AND MONITORS? You should be up and moving, swaying, slow dancing with your partner, and walking.

Not to make anyone mad or upset, but I don't understand how anyone would choose Major Abdominal Surgery unless it was medically required. If you choose induction, your chance of a C-section rises 50%.


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Why for no good reason does your doctor want to induce you? Your baby will come when it is ready!!!
Induction is an intervention! Any intervention increases the chances of other interventions like c-sections. Induced labor is more painful for the mother and more stressful on the baby. Pitocin induced contraxtions are stronger and closer together not giving the baby time to recover possibly causing fetal stress. If your baby shows signs of fetal stress guess what? C-section! If they induce you and your labor does not progress fast enough for their liking guess what? C-section and those are only 2 possible situations. I could list dozens more.
Sounds to me like your doc is pretty open to interventions since she wants to induce for no good reason so be careful. If you do not want to be induced say NO! Your doc works for you and you have hired her to provide care for you. Do not think that you can't have a say in what happens.
There is a chance you baby will not be ready to be born yet. Yes at 39 weeks baby "should" be fine. BUT what if your date is a little bit off and baby is really only 38 week or younger? Or what if your baby is one of the ones whos lungs are not fully developed at 39 weeks? It just doens't make sense.
Really how can she assure you that with a second baby it will be fine? What is the difference? That your body already knows how to labor? She is right it does. Let it do it on it's own!!!!
Please tell your doc you will wait for your baby to arrive in it's own good time when it is ready to!

********** I am editing this to say WOW to some of the other responses. Induction IS a big deal and leads to many many other interventions. C-sections ARE a big deal. They are major surgery and the total recovery time can take months! More times is spent in the hospital the scar has consequences for the next birth. You’re more likely to have placenta previa or an invasive placenta, more likely to need another c-section, have an ectopic pregnancy or experience infertility. Having your internal organs removed from your body and placed beside you IS a bid deal. How do you think they get to the uterus? Are we so medicalized that we think having your abdomen cut open isn't a bid deal? Birth is a natural process and needs to be left alone as often as possible. Sure there are some limited and specific reasons for induction but for the most part inductions perfomed are NOT truly necessary and are done for convienience.
If you were baking a cake would you take it out early and risk it being undercooked or would you follow a tried and true recipie that has worked for millions of years?? ***********

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Before you read this list of pros and cons, I want to remind you that if you are unhappy with your care provider that you can fire him/her at any time and hire someone who fits your birthing philosophy better. Being that you have a healthy, low risk pregnancy, you are a client, not a patient, and could change doctors or use a Certified Nurse Midwife instead.

Best wishes,

pros of early induction in low risk pregnancy:
-no conflict with doctor
-meet baby sooner
-plan day of birth

-conflict with doctor
-risk of preterm baby if baby isn't 39 weeks developed (remember, 40 weeks due date is an average. Your baby may not be ready until 42 weeks gestation)
-chance of being confined to bed goes up which limits movement, causes painful contractions, restricts pelvis from opening fully
-increase risk of fetal distress
-increase desire for epidural (epidurals have their own inherent risks including episiotomy, forceps, respiratory paralysis, severe headache, prolonged backache postpartum
-increases chance of cesarean birth (1 out of 3 women give birth by cesarean now in America which correlates to a rise in inductions in the last decade)
-cesarean birth may decrease chance to bond with baby immediately and establish breastfeeding relationship


I am a SAHM of two children; the first born vaginally at Pitt with an epidural and the second born at home with my husband attending. I am studying to be a Birth Doula and am very interested in helping you find the best choice for you and your family. I will need to do some research to fully inform you on the pros and cons but can start by saying this: Starting labor by induction often creates a snowball effect that will increase your odds of having a cesarean. Maternal death is four to seven times more likely with a cesarean than with a vaginal birth. Recovery time with a vaginal birth is two to three times less than recovery time with a cesarean.

I will write more later. Feel free to contact me personally.

Best wishes,
E. Reece

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J., if you don't officially have the diagnosis and there's no other medical justification, I can't understand why your MD wants to do that. Getting induced does increase the likelihood of other medical interventions - including C-sections. (I have one child and he was induced but I had GD and pre-eclampsia so I saw the induction as justified option). It's your right as a patient and mother to make an INFORMED choice even if your MD disagrees with what you end up choosing. www.birthnetwork.org Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Don't let a dr tell you how to have your baby unless there is for certain a medical reason to have either the induction or c section. The dr wanted to induce me out of mere convienence on his part. I did not have it done bc I did not want the added pain that pitossin(sp?) brings. My baby was delivered two days after her due date. I figure there must be a reason they decide to come out when they do. Maybe something needs to continue developing in that environment. Do what makes you most comfortable.

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