Elective Induction at 39 Weeks?

Updated on September 15, 2010
J.R. asks from Boston, MA
19 answers

So I'm currently 35 weeks pregnant with my third child. Today the doctor said she could induce me at 39 weeks if I want as my first two were inductions. I'm torn about what to do. Obviously I realize I don't "need" to be induced and she is not at all pushing me, she just said it's an option to think about and we can discuss at my next appointment.

A little background:

With my daughter (and first child), I was one week past my due date and my blood pressure started going up so the doctor recommended an induction. I went in on a Thursday afternoon, she was born on Saturday morning. No problems or issues during the induction, it just took a long time.

With my son I had A LOT of problems during the pregnancy - contractions, bleeding, off and on bed rest 3 times. We thought for sure he would be born early. On my due date, I started bleeding again so I went in to see the doctor and she recommended inducing because of the bleeding and all of the prior problems. The induction started on a Sunday morning and he was born that same night. During the birth, my pubic joint separated and I was in a walker for a week and then had several weeks of physical therapy. I had planned on a natural birth with my son and even though I didn't completely get my wish, I was still able to avoid an epidural and pain meds despite the induction.

This pregnancy has been very uneventful, except the pubic joint issue has started up again - considering what happened with my son, it's not that surprising. I've started physical therapy again which is helping somewhat. I know that the pain won't totally go away until after this baby is born.

Clearly an induction is a medical intervention. One the one hand I'm leery because I don't want it to lead to something like a c-section (especially since this is probably my last child and with 2 children at home I have no time for that kind of recovery). On the other hand, I've been induced twice and both went fine (the joint separation had nothing to do with the induction, my son just had a big head!) and it would be nice to be able to plan for when I have the baby.

I realize some of you might try to blast me for even considering this, but I'm actually trying to carefully weigh my options which is why I'm asking what other moms think...blast away...

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much for all of the supportive responses! I do have a lot to think about, but I think I'm leaning towards induction. I will talk to my doctor about this again in two weeks and ask many of the questions that were brought up here. After thinking about it, the induction wouldn't be completely elective - the doctor brought it up because of the pain I've been in with the pubic joint issue and as a way to give birth to a slightly smaller baby. She hasn't checked this baby's size, but those measurements aren't completely accurate - they thought my son was about 7.5 lbs when he ended up being 8 lbs, 9 oz with a head in the 90th percentile! Also if I'm induced I don't have to worry about getting the doctor on call because she'll schedule the induction for a time when she is on call and she's already very familiar with my situation. She's already suggested a few labor positions I should be in to avoid further injuring the joint (I'd rather not have to explain this to someone else). In addition, she did say she'd only want to do the induction if my cervix is ready, she'd want to let nature take its course if it wasn't.

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answers from Austin on

I don't think anyone would blast you for this when it might be a medical intervention. I am going in for a c-section the week before my due date so that I can get my tubes tied at the same time rather than going through a v-bac. That's far more selfish of me than what you are having to go through imo...

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answers from Kalamazoo on

Normally, I would say to do an induction just for the convenience of it is wrong. You should let your baby come into this world on their schedule, not yours. However, in your case with your pelvic bone issues, I would weigh the options of the SIZE of your baby. How large does your doc think baby is?? If baby is already an 8 pounder or close, then I would consider inducing a week early when baby might be a bit smaller so as not to do more damage to your pelvic region. Just my opinion though.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Every pregnancy is different. I think if a medical reason comes up (as they did both times before before) where induction is indicated, then you will do so again and should be fine. If no medical reason comes up, I'd be inclined to let nature take it's course.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I'm not sure if you are asking to get approval or if you are asking because you don't want to induce. First of all, if anyone blasts you for such a personal decision, they are wrong. They are not in your shoes and have no right to judge your decisions.

You are 35 weeks. Is your baby measuring big? What is the reason your dr is suggesting induction? Is it based on your history only or does the dr feel it is the best solution?

If induction makes your life with two little ones easier being able to plan and you are comfortable with it, then do it. This is your pregnancy and your day-to-day life. If you on the other hand feel the need to try to go into labor and be surprised by when it happens, then do that. Personally, I would go with the induction based on your history and your convenience. I'm a planner... :-P Believe me, however the baby gets into this world doesn't matter in the long run as long as the baby and the mama are healthy!!!

Best of luck and prayers to you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I hope no one "blasts" you for considering this...you've had a tough go of things! If I were you, I'd do it. It's no guarantee of an easy delivery but I doubt you have any higher risk of doing this and having a c-section than you did with your other two births.

Both my kids were born at 39 weeks and there is nothing wrong with them! I don't think my daughter ever would have come out if they hadn't of gone in to get her, she was in no mood to be born! (she was breech, so I had no choice, but she was pretty content in there!) ;)

YOu do have two kids at home and it absolutlely would be nice to plan the delivery, I dont' see anything wrong with this option, especially since your doctor brought it up and can see how it might help you with some of your medical or impending medical issues. Do you what you feel is right, but don't feel bad if you choose this option, you are totally justified!

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answers from Lincoln on

I can completely understand why you would consider it. Every mother late in pregnancy want the waiting overwith, and it would be nice to plan the birth. However, I would still advise against it. God has the right timing for this child. Let the baby come, don't force him/her out. You don't know what the baby may need from you that he/she won't get if induced at 39 weeks, but God does.

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answers from Philadelphia on

If you've done it twice before, why not do it again...if for nothing else, your peace of mind?

I asked this same question, when I was awaiting the birth of my 3rd child. But unlike you, I had to previous UN-induced births...so this was all new territory to me. I never did follow thru with the induction, and my son was born at 39 weeks on the day my induction (that was cancelled) was scheduled for.

I would say go for it, if it is what you want. Just being able to plan and put your mind at ease will do wonders for the remainder of your pregnancy and during your labor. Most important...don't stress. Try to enjoy these last few weeks! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

Hi JR. Three of my deliveries were inductions. Three were not. I highly recommend letting the baby come when he comes. And, I also had that pelvic issue with my last 2. You cannot deliver in the lying down on your back with your feet in the stirrups position. It could cause permanent damage for you. You should deliver sittting up, kneeling, squatting or something like that. Your knees should stay as together as they can. Talk with your doctor about this. It is very important, although less convenient for her. I had #5 sitting up sideways on the bed on my knees. Baby came out quickly and my pelvis was immediately better. With my 6th, I squatted next to the bed. She came flying out on the first push, and again, my pelvis was immediately better.
About induction, you are right that it can lead to c-sections. It doesn't always. None of mine did. But, I think they are more c-section prone today than they were 10-15 years ago. Is this the same doctor you had with your other babies? What is her c-section rate? What about c-section from induction rate? I would find out those numbers. Also, find out what this particular hospital's policy is on how long you can go once induced. They tend to get more antsy about the timeline than they used to be. It costs money to keep you in when they have other mothers ready to go also. If it were me, I would never do a non-medically necessary induction. And, I would have to be VERY convinced that it was actually necessary! I am very much against them now, personally.



answers from Dallas on

I would do what is best for your peace of mind. I had my 1st daughter when I was 19 and she was induced because of the jerk I was with. He had actually caused fetal distress and the doctors could never figure out a true delivery date. the first one said 7/5 and another said 7/25. They induced me at 7:00am and I had her before 1pm same day. So only in labor for less than 6 hrs. My second daughter was born less than a year later. With her, I was scheduled to be induced at 7 am but my water broke at 4 am and she was born by 8 am. So with her I was only in labor for 4 hrs. I would do an induction again. It just seemed much easier that way.


answers from St. Louis on

This is a tough decision, I know. This is baby # 3 for me, and both of my other children came naturally without an induction and were easy breezy pregnancies. HOWEVER, this one is a PAIN! I have been in and out of the hospital with contractions at 23 weeks, on bed rest for months, and in more pain than with the other two. I am READY to have this baby!

My doc suggested (more like said it was an option if I WANTED) induction, since he knows how much this pregnancy has taken its toll. But, in the end, I will probably wait for nature to take its course, as I have with my past two. I have many reasons, one being that I have read that induction increases your chances for c-section. Do your own research if this idea concerns you, and talk with your doctor about it to confirm what I have been told. I am not a doctor.

In the end, you will have a healthy baby no matter what! So, is the early induction worth it? Will it help to have baby come a week early as baby may be a bit smaller? You have to decide based upon your past and what your current situation is. Your doc wouldn't induce a week early if he/she thought it would be a problem for baby. But on the other hand, babies come when they are ready and have for many many years! Whatever you decide, don't let anyone make you feel bad, as each pregnancy is different!



answers from Boise on

It sounds like the other inductions were medically necessary. BUT this is your decision. I can only tell you what I would do. I wouldn't do it. My doc wanted to induce on my due date with my first. I couldn't understand why she wouldn't let nature take its course. Luckily, my water broke the night before my due date, so it didn't matter. That being said, I am also into natural births if possible. Unfortunately for me, my first was an emergency c-section and my second was a scheduled c-section.



answers from New York on

Why don't you wait and see? Your at 35 weeks. If something happens, like in your other pregnancies, they can induce at that time. Do you need to make the decision now? Since your pregnancy is uneventful aside from the pubic joint issue, maybe this birth will be easier. I guess I am saying I would wait and see if it really is needed. I was induced at 38 weeks because my water broke but had no contractions. I was perfectly fine, but if I didn't medically need it I wouldn't have done it. Best of luck and congrats on #3!



answers from Denver on

Tough decision. I guess I'd wait it out a bit unless there were concerns or some surface. Best if your body progresses naturally. Every person and pregnancy is different. I've known people w/ inductions (especially not the first babies that went perfectly!). I ended up w/ two c-sections, and although not my 'choice' all went fine. Recovery really wasn't so bad! With my second, I had a c-section and was also caring for a 17 month old in a body cast - we made it through! Good luck and congrats!



answers from Bangor on

Reading the responses I see you've had a lot of good input. Just want to add another story. We planned an induction because the medical facility in our area is dangerously inept. Drove down to "The Big City" Sunday at the planned 6 pm appointment time, and my contractions started as we drove into the parking area! No induction necessary. Somethings are just meant to be! Good luck with your decision, Mama!



answers from Washington DC on

Since the pregnancy has been easy, I would probably wait it out until it became too uncomfortable.

With my first, he was 9 days late so they induced. They must have given me a double dose because I went into full on labor within 2 hours. I was so tired that I couldn't push when the time came and they had to use suction to pull him out.

With my second, she planted herself on my siadic nerve at 37 weeks. I was dying!! I couldn't sleep/eat/etc. I lost 5 lbs in 3 days. Take her now!!! Finally the dr. said that he would try an induction at 38 weeks. Wasn't holding out my hope. To his surprise and my relief the induction took and she was born the next morning. That labor was COMPLETELY different from my first.

So just do what works for you. 39 weeks in considered a full-term baby.




answers from Providence on

My 2nd child came so quickly that when I had my 3rd the Dr want me to be induced so I was giving birth on the highway on the way to the hospital so at 38 weeks I was induced without any problems. My husband, mother and mother in law were able to be there and we had a sitter for my other 2 kids. Which was very comforting b/c my son saw me at my worst when I had my second b/c he was in the car with me. Then with my 4th the hosp. changed their policy so I could only be induced at 39 weeks this was very scarry for me b/c my 1st was 2 weeks early 2nd was so fast so for the last 3 weeks we had a family member with me at all times just incase I went into labor. I did come early on my own and everything was fine but I would have liked it to have been more controlled for the sake of my other children. They saw Daddy take mommy away in pain in the middle of the night and it was the babies fault in their minds. So until they saw thier little sister and I they were afraid. If you are able to be prepared with out being induced then wait but if it will be less stressful for the other children I'd go with the induction and you can still have natural just get a little jump start. Also I feel for you with the pubic bone issue mine seperated around 20 weeks and the entire pregnancy was very painful. I too have PT after delivery. The best thing for me was to keep a long pillow between my knees and ankles while I slept. That was the only time through out the day that it didn't hurt. Good luck!



answers from San Antonio on

Read The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth. It's an easy read with statistical analysis of different birth interventions. It will help you make an informed choice and it lays out the possible complications (no scare tactics, it's all data and some of it might surprise you.)

Congratulations. I wish you a peaceful and healthy birth.



answers from Philadelphia on

Considering your previous history I would be induced. it's not about planning this is about the health of you and your baby.



answers from Boston on

I'd do it.. as long as everything looked good with the baby. with the previous issues, I'd rather have it under a controlled situation rather than go in to labor and have them scurrying trying to figure out the best move. My 2nd was induced - mostly because I was pretty late with my first and it was calm and stressfree.. I had time to plan out my child care for my 1st and it all worked out fine. good luck

Next question: Pros and Cons of Being Induced.