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The Bump Editors

Elective Labor Induction

If you're nearing the end of 9 months, you're probably beyond ready for baby to come out.

We get it: When you're in the final stretch of pregnancy, waiting for baby to arrive can be agonizing. Have patience. Just because you're past the point of a preterm birth (before 37 weeks) doesn’t mean baby is ready to come out, and it doesn't mean you should opt to induce labor (barring medical need).

Your body knows when the time is right, and it’s safer not to cut it short, especially before you’ve passed your due date. Plus, induction isn’t without risks. Inducing labor too early (for example, if your due date projections were off) could result in a preterm birth, putting baby at risk for health issues.

That being said, new research shows elective induction after 39 weeks could be a precautionary measure against c-sections. While more research is needed before any changes are made to clinical practices, researchers say inducing labor at 39 weeks among healthy, first-time moms reduces the rate of c-sections compared to women who wait for labor to begin on its own after 39 weeks. Plus, moms who induced had slightly lower rates of preeclampsia and gestational hypertension.

Hang in there, mama, you're almost to the end!

Plus, more from The Bump:

What Happens In an Induction

Going Past Due Date?

Natural Labor Induction Methods