Why might a woman choose induction when there is no clear medical reason?

Research suggests that inducing labor without a medical reason increases the risk of problems during and right after birth. Despite these risks, many women have labor induced for non-medical reasons. These include:

  • Desire to get the pregnancy over with. This is most common non-medical reason women ask for or agree to an elective induction. Aches and pains, sleep problems and emotional ups and downs are common in the final days and weeks of pregnancy. Although induction of labor may seem like the best option for dealing with these problems, try coping with support or less risky medical interventions.
  • Preference for a certain care provider. Most care providers share the responsibility of being "on call" for births with one or more other care providers. You may strongly prefer one care provider over the others, or fear that you will end up with a care provider you don't know. However, choosing labor induction is likely to have a much greater impact on your labor than having a particular care provider in the room. In most settings, nurses provide most care during labor. It’s also common for labor induction to take longer than a typical care provider's time on call, so you could end up beginning your induction with one person but giving birth with a different one anyway.
  • Convenience. It's not easy to predict when labor will begin and that can make it tough to plan ahead and prepare for baby’s arrival. Since induction for convenience could result in health problems for you or your baby, it’s best to prioritize safety over convenience.