On behalf of ICAN, we would like to wish everyone a very happy and healthy holiday season. We would also like to take the time to discuss induction of labor, since the holidays seem to be a popular time for labor induction in many women.
When necessary for the health of mother and baby, induction can be a useful tool to bring on labor and possibly avoid a cesarean delivery when delivery of the baby is in the best interests of mother and/or baby. Induction comes with risks, however, including a higher rate of cesarean, premature birth, infection, uterine rupture, postpartum hemorrhage, and other possible complications. It is because of these risks that ICAN advises women to avoid induction of labor unless a true medical indication exists. In first time mothers, induction of labor doubles the risk of labor ending in a cesarean delivery, which will complicate a woman’s entire reproductive life. We urge you, if you are faced with an induction, to discuss the reasons for it with your care provider and weigh both the benefits and the risks of this option.