Baby Corner
Follow Us! Facebook | Twitter | Google+
Login:
Sign up | Lost Your Password? | Get Free Stuff




Pregnancy Week by Week Newsletter
Sign up today to receive your free personalized weekly pregnancy newsletter chock full of information, advice, and tips to prepare for childbirth.
Enter Your Due Date






Pregnancy Week by Week

Not sure of your due date? Find out with our due date calculator.


New Today at Baby Corner


Pregnancy Community
You are here: Home - Pregnancy - Labor & Childbirth - When Will a Doctor Induce Labor?

When Will a Doctor Induce Labor?

by Bradley G. Goldberg, M.D.
25 Comments


I am almost full term, and worried that the baby will be late. What happens if my due date comes and goes and the baby is still not here? At what point will doctors want to induce labor?

This is one of the most common questions asked of an Obstetrician. I must tell you that there are many correct ways to handle this situation, but I will give you my personal basic management plan.

A full term pregnancy is 40 weeks, this is how the due date is established. This only indicates the most likely time that a woman will go into labor. Actually, only one out of every twenty women will deliver on their due date. Most will deliver anywhere from two weeks before to two weeks after their due date.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists considers a pregnancy to be "post-term" or overdue at 42 weeks, which is 2 weeks after the due date. They actually do not recommend delivery before this time in a healthy woman who is having a normal, uneventful pregnancy.

However, most OB/GYN physicians will induce prior to this time if there is some dilatation of the cervix or if other conditions exist that may warrant an induction of labor. The American College also recommends that in the absence of problems with either the baby or the mother, a woman should not be induced until at least 39 weeks.

In my practice, if a woman is one week past their due date, and if their cervix has started to dilate, I will offer to induce them if they agree. If they do not want induction, or if their cervix has not dilated at all, then during the 41st week, they are seen twice at my office for an ultrasound to check the amniotic fluid level, and for a non-stress test of the baby. If either of these tests are abnormal, then I recommend induction.

If these tests are normal, then I will not bring the patient to the hospital until 2 weeks past their due date. For pregnancies at 42 weeks there are some studies to support continued close observation until natural labor ensues, but I believe that there is data to support delivering the baby to prevent bad outcomes after 42 weeks.

Again, these are my practice patterns, and your physician may be different, so I would suggest you also review this with your doctor.

Dr. Bradley G Goldberg is a specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Goldberg is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Goldberg is Chief of Staff of Coffee Regional Medical Center. Currently, he is serving as Director of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and he is the Chairman of the Perinatal Committee. Dr. Goldberg graduated from the University of Florida in 1989 as a member of The Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He received his medical degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine, and completed his internship and residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta.Dr. Goldberg is a member of the American Medical Association, The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, The Medical Association of Georgia, and The Atlanta Medical Association. Dr. Goldberg's wife Kimberly is a pediatric nurse. Together, they enjoy traveling and spending time with their family.

Related Articles

Natural Ways to Induce Labor

To Induce or Not to Induce?

Preterm Labor & How To Avoid Preterm Labor

Hypnobirthing, A New Way To Labor

Signs of Labor

From around the web

Comments


Showing 1 - 10 out of 25 Comments
Add Comment or question.

youngbloodr Jul 24, 2013 09:11:12 AM ET

Im 39wks due aug 5th. i been having a light period for 3days, been leaking the nasty snot mucus alot, contractions come and go and im 4cm dilated. i seen my doctor 3 times this week and he keeps sending me home, gave me medicine to calm the contractions. its getting really fustrating! i dont know what else to do

Reply | Report

Mz.tasia Apr 18, 2013 06:43:12 PM ET

I'm 35+5 and i'm 3cm and 70% effaced. i'm also a gestational diabetic and starting to contract regular. i was told my bby was already 8 pounds shouldn't they induce my labor especially with me having fevers too?

Reply | Report

majesty Apr 16, 2013 08:46:17 AM ET

I am 40 weeks and 4 days and were i live they want let yu go past 41 weeks so i am scheduled to go visit my doctor today to discuss induction, i may be going in tomorrow because i will be 41 weeks friday!!! i haven't dilated at all but he is in position for birth so i can't wait to meet my buddle of joy wish me luck!!!

Reply | Report

Tawana Sep 18, 2012 08:20:27 PM ET

I am 6cm how far will my doctor make me dialate before inducing my labor i am 35 weeks

Reply | Report

laurie Sep 4, 2012 11:32:05 AM ET

I'm 39 weeks preggo and extremely uncomfortable due to my baby position. the last doctors appointment i had they said that i'm dilated about 1&1/2 centimeters, my baby is literally right on my cervix and i can't move without hurting. is there any chance that my doc will agree to inducing me??

Reply | Report

Stacy Aug 22, 2012 07:42:08 PM ET

I am 41wks and 2 days pregnant, i went clinic today and they are sending me to the hospital to be induced tomorrow, i am really excited to meet my bundle of joy but i am scared of the pain because i heard that when you get induced the pain is 2x..........

Reply | Report

Bovette Aug 17, 2012 12:49:38 AM ET

Im 40weeks and 5 days im scheduled to be induced on monday...my baby hasnt dropped yet nor am i dilated...i a little nervous but have to do it...good luck to you all!!!

Reply | Report

ARIEONNA Jun 1, 2012 04:09:57 PM ET

I'm 36 weeks my midwife has convinced me to get my labor induced next week. i'm anemic and i also have ulcers in my stomach they say i will not be able to make i't to 38weeks so wish me luck i'm scared .

Reply | Report

pink Mar 3, 2012 01:44:50 PM ET

I'm 37 weeks pregnant,doctor advised me to go for induction.i had gestational diebetes early in my 7th month,but its normal now,why is the doctor advising me to go with induction,will there any problem and can i have normal delivery even after i'm induced?

Reply | Report

ronette Feb 15, 2012 04:43:28 PM ET

I'm 37 weeks and 6 days and i keep having contractions on and off, will they induce me if i go to the hospital now

Reply | Report

1 2 3 Next >>

Add Comment

You are commenting as Guest.
Please register or login if you would like to be notified by email of replies to your comment.

Type your comment in the box below.



Pregnancy | Fertility | Baby | Toddler | Free Baby Stuff! | Community | Baby Names

About Baby Corner | Advertising | Editorial | Contact Baby Corner | Terms of Use | Privacy Notice