Pregnancy Community
72.3k Members
541150 tn?1306037443

Labor Induction - Ladies, Please Help Me on this One.

So I recently had a conversation with my OB about elective labor induction. I started the topic by asking her how we could be sure that SHE was going to deliver my baby. What if she is on vacation? What if she is out of town?
I want her to deliver my child. She is my doctor and knows me very well, and I trust her blindly.  Any ways; she mentioned the fact that she always offers her patients the option of being induced at 39 weeks.

I have read that elective labor induction increases the risk of having a c-section. I definitely don’t want that. She did mention that if my cervix wasn’t ready that she would help me to get it ready before inducing me. She told me to think about it and that if I wanted to wait for my body to go into labor naturally that it was OKAY as well. However, there is no guarantee that she will be available that day. Heck, I don’t even know when I’ll go into labor.

Has anybody had her labor induced at 39 weeks for nonmedical reasons? How was the experience? I don’t want a c-section. Does the doctor’s performance play a key role on avoiding a c-section or does it depend solely on how my body will react to the pitocin  etc..??

Is this even a good idea at all? Please help me decide. I need advice. I’m 31 weeks and this is my first pregnancy.
12 Responses
Avatar universal
I am a firm believer in natural/active labour. Try to find a book about this subject and it will explain how medical intervention to induce labour could effect you and your labour experience. If there was a medical reason then definetly, but gee's, encouraging a baby from where it is nice and secure to suit a doctors time table is a bit dicey.

Babies come when they come, no matter who delivers it. You might find that if you did end up with an alternative doctor then it would still be a better experience then all of those drugs.
1035252 tn?1427231433
all I can say is that from my personal experience...I'm going to be induced for medical complications next week @ 38wks...after an amnio to check lung maturity...and I doubt my decision every single moment, even though It's going to be best in the long run. Hell, I'm in even in the hospital as I type this for blood pressure issues (and a nice 3AM wake-up call where my IV cath detached and I was spurting blood all over the place...gotta love hospitals) and I STILL doubt my decision, because I remember the experience of letting my daughter come on her own @ 40wks and how healthy and perfect the delivery was.

so if I had a choice I would NOT be inducing, but my health is being compromised the longer I wait. However....that being said...it's completely up to you. plenty of women induce at 39wks and their babies are 100% healthy, and they don't have to have c-sections. but you are running a risk that is avoidable. It's just a risk/benefit analysis type thing. yes you want YOUR doctor there, but are you comfortable with the possibility of a c-section? some babies just are not ready at 39wks, ESPECIALLY first babies...subsequent pregnancies usually mature faster so it's not as big of an issue, but the AAP is trying to get a woman's FIRST pregnancy due date pushed back to the 42-week mark because most first babies take longer to mature.

it's just a matter of deciding if you can live with a possible less-than-ideal outcome. is your baby going to be severely immature and have loads of problems? most likely NOT. the biggest risk at 39wks is a possible c-section because your body was not ready for labor...the baby will most likely be fine....so just take that into account when you make the decision.

there are a lot of strong opinions on either side of the argument and like I said all I can do is give you my perspective...I begged to be induced at 37wks with my daughter because I was MISERABLE...but they talked me into setting the induction for 41wks and she came on her own at 40 and I am SO GRATEFUL I did it that way...and with this pregnancy if I could avoid inducing, I would.

Good luck with your decision hon, keep us posted!
719902 tn?1334168783
I have four babies and was induced with only my first.  None of them were c-sections.  The induction was because I was overdue and my fluids were getting low.  I have heard that induction can make things move very fast and increase the pain exponential because of the speed of the labor, but that was not the case for me.  Labor lasted about 12 hours.  For me, the worst part of being induced was the MASSIVE swelling of my hands and feet from the pitocin.  It lasted for days.  I'm not sure, given ths choice, if I would choose to be induced just to have the doctor you want, but that is up to you.  Just wanted to share my experience with being induced.  Good luck!
470885 tn?1326332637
I have been pregnant twice and induced both times at 41 weeks - not elective, by any means, but rather because my cervix was completely unfavourable and my babies simply didn't want to come out ;-)

At 31 weeks, it's still early for you to be considering an induction - so much could happen in the next few weeks.....and babies tend to come when THEY'RE ready to, not when it's convenient for us or our doctors.

With my first induction, I was given Cervidil in an outpatient procedure in triage at the hospital.  My cervix dilated to 1cm overnight and I was started on Pitocin the next day and my son was born by 10pm that night.  I had severe back labour and needed an epidural to get through it.  I was fortunate enough to have my OB - whom I trusted implicity - on call and he delivered my son.

With my second induction, rather than use something like Cervidil, they inserted a Cook's catheter to get the ball rolling, so to speak.  This is NOT  something you want to go through if you don't have to, it's essentially FORCING your cervix open (you can imagine how painful it is!!).  Anyway, that got me to 2cm overnight and then they started on the Pitocin in the morning. The pain wasn't as bad as the first time, but I still needed an epidural.  That time, I missed having my OB deliver my son by 4 hours.  

In my opinion, wanting your doctor to deliver your baby isn't a valid reason for considering an induction.  There are no guarantees:  just because your doctor induces you during his/her office hours or on call time, it doens't mean that the baby will be born during that time - in the case of my second induction where I missed having my OB deliver for me, that was what happened:  my cervix simply hadn't dilated enough by 8pm when he was finishing up his shift - I was at 10 cms. by 11pm and had my son just before midnight.

I'm a very strong believer in this:  induction should only be performed where there is a medical reason (risk to either mother or baby) OR when a pregnancy has clearly gone past 40 weeks, at which time the risks to both mother and baby increase.
1262373 tn?1281547382
I have had 2 inductions.  The first one my water broke and I never progressed 13 hours later I delivered a healthy baby girl.  I was at 36 weeks.  My second was sort of elective I guess.  I have extreme vomiting from the beginning of pregnancy until delivery.  So with my second child the doctor took pity on me and induced me at 38 weeks.  My only problem with that induction was that I went from 3 to delivered in 44 mins!! So I didn't get an epidural and my doc had just left the hospital so the nurses delivered my child.  But overall I've had good experiences and would do it again.  Good luck!
202436 tn?1326477933
Personally I feel it's best to let baby come on his/her own.

I was induced with my last.  But there was a reason for it.  The last week or so I wasn't able to keep food down or sleep, I was in extreme pain from my hip sliding around in the joint.  All of my births are VBAC which increases the risk of a possible c-section during induction more so than anyone who has had normal vaginal births.  My last birth was my 4th VBAC and was induced.  In MY case things went just fine.  Labor was under 8 hours from start to finish, no extra assistance needed.

My first was born by a different doctor than the one I saw throughout my pregnancy.  Mine was on vacation.  I was 19 and terrified becuase I had a normal check up and they sent me for an ultrasound then came back and said I had to have a c-section THAT day.  Though I wasn't fond of having someone I'd never met perform surgery on me, things went as well as could be expected.  The doctor and the NP went over my records thoroughly and knew exactly what was going on with my pregnancy.

This is a personal choice, if it were me, I would most likely choose to just wait it out.
1318881 tn?1274463611
I have had 2 inductions! Both were my choice. My babies were born perfect both times and came pretty fast! I LOVED it! That way everything was on my time and I always knew what was coming next. My dr made sure to be there. I was able to get pain meds before I really needed them so I was comfortable the whole time. I am pregnant with my 3rd and I am being induced on Dec 26 if everything goes good or if my little one doesn't come on its own!! I am due Jan 9! My dr induces at 38 weeks!
184674 tn?1360864093
I did an elective induction at 39 week with my first son for non-medical reasons. I'll be completely honest and say I had it done to work around my college schedule and finals, as my son was due the week before finals, and I didn't want to have to make any of them up later; I wanted to take them when they were scheduled. So at 39 weeks, I got the okay to get induced from my doctor.
My labor progressed over about nine hours. It was fairly easy once I got the epidural. I didn't have any complications at all.
As for my doctor being there to deliver, however...she almost didn't make it. I got to the point of delivering while she was in the middle of a c-section with someone else. I actually had the L&D nurse tell me to hold off on pushing when my son's head was crowning, lol. She wanted me to attempt to wait on the doctor, and all I can say is that it's a good thing I had the epidural because I sat with the top of his head showing for what felt like an eternity. When she walked in, the rest of his head was basically coming out on its own, so she BARELY made it to deliver my baby.
Anyway, my point is that even if your doctor IS there to deliver your baby that day, there's no guarantee that she actually will.
For both my pregnancies, both doctors made it *just* in time to deliver my boys. In each case, their heads were already out and the doctors got there just in time to catch, lol.

Good luck on whatever you choose. I'm sure it'll turn out wonderfully either way! :-)
1297979 tn?1272749990
I had an elective induction at 39 weeks with my #2. I WILL NEVER DO IT AGAIN! It is way more fun to have the baby come when it wants. #1 reason, I almost bleed to death after the birth because the pitocin wasn't working anymore to push out the clots and such. The after birth was THE WORST pain I have ever felt in my life because my epidural was wearing off since I needed it early from the pitocin making the contractions harder than needed. I also needed oxygen the whole time during labor. Once you get the pitocin started you have to lay in the bed the whole time, no walking or anything to speed up labor. I definitly, having done what you are thinking, recommend waiting till baby wants to come out. I know its horrible waiting, but I wish I would have waited and I don't want you to regret not waiting also. Good luck
1315833 tn?1313032320
i was induced 3 times 1st baby toxemia 2nd baby ges diabetes 3rd was spilling protien kidneys functioning like an 80 year olds all right around 40 weeks. i would definantley love to go in labor on my own that would be cool but i dont think its a moral think if u want to do it as long as ur baby is ok and term. u know we have 6 kids all together and sometimes knowin when is nice to schedule a babysitter. i do hope i go on my own this time tho just to experience it:)
1222635 tn?1366399886
i was in the early stages of labor on my own at 38 weeks but technically i was induced because they broke my water and gave me pitocin the whole time.
i can tell you MY experience was wonderful...my baby was perfectly healthy. i had the threat of having a c section but that was because my babies heartrate was dipping because her cord was getting compressed during contractions and had nothing to do with being induced. they gave me an amniofusion and it fixed everything. :)
my daughter was perfectly healthy and the delivery went amazing. ive never given birth before either but labor went beautifully and if they tell you its more painful with pitocin well honestly i was bored during labor. so i'd get an epidural if i were you lol.
im super thankful i was induced because had i gone to my due date or after my daughter would have been 8 lbs and i am small so its unsure whether or not i could have even delivered vaginally.
541150 tn?1306037443
So many experiences. Thank you ladies. I have a lot to think. Yes I'm almost 32 weeks but I still want to think about this. I am now 90% inclined towards NOT going with elective induction. When she gave me the option I started doubting it; but I also want her to deliver my child.  Now, if I had to choose between letting my son come when he is ready and having my doctor there because I'm freaking scared of this whole labor thing and it is evidently convenient for ME....then I'd have to put my son first....and also I would HATE to have a c-section. I would!!

Thank you ladies. You are all wonderful!

Have an Answer?
Top Pregnancy Answerers
13167 tn?1327197724
Austin, TX
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Get information and tips on how to help you choose the right place to deliver your baby.
Get the facts on how twins and multiples are formed and your chance of carrying more than one baby at a time.
Learn about the risks and benefits of circumcision.
What to expect during the first hours after delivery.
Learn about early screening and test options for your pregnancy.
Learn about testing and treatment for GBS bacterium.