How can I lower my chance of being induced unnecessarily?

  • Choose a care provider with a low induction rate. Styles of practice vary widely across physicians and midwives, so it’s important to discuss induction and your preferences, and understand their position, when you’re choosing your care provider.
  • Choose a birth setting with a low induction rate. Some hospitals have quality improvement programs to reduce induction rates, including programs to avoid scheduling births before the 39th week of pregnancy whenever possible. In general, rates of intervention are much lower for out-of-hospital birth centers and home births, compared with hospitals.
  • Educate yourself. You’re already doing that by reading this website — great! Keep reading to understand your options and their possible benefits and harms. You may also want to review your rights to informed refusal, in case you choose to exercise this right.
  • Try to make sure your estimated due date (EDD) is accurate. Care providers often recommend induction based on how far along the pregnancy is. Having an accurate EDD may lower the chance that your labor will be induced based on an incorrect due date. An ultrasound in early pregnancy is the most accurate way to estimate your due date, unless you know the exact day of your last period and exactly when you were expecting your next period and you have not recently been pregnant or used hormonal birth control like the pill. Bring as much information as possible (e.g., dates of your last several periods, dates you might have conceived, date and results of pregnancy tests) to your first prenatal appointment to increase the chance of getting an accurate due date. It is rarely appropriate to change the estimated due date later in pregnancy based on additional information.