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Safe Birthing Practices

If your pregnancy is healthy, it is best to allow labor to take a natural course. The last few weeks of pregnancy allow your baby’s brain and lungs to fully mature. Research indicates that early elective inductions could pose a significant health risk to infants including problems with breathing, temperature, and blood glucose levels.

Expert Guidelines

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists is a national organization of the doctors who deliver babies. The following guidelines are based on advice from ACOG. Your doctor will use these guidelines to make a safe decision about whether or not an elective induction is best for you and your baby.

Before electively inducing labor:

  • Your doctor must verify that you have not had an up-and-down scar on your uterus (classical incision) or major surgery on your uterus.
  • Your doctor must be sure of your due date so as not to start labor too early, before your baby is fully developed.
  • Doctor-recommended guidelines consider weeks pregnant for elective induction.
  • Your cervix should be soft and ready to open (dilated). Your doctor can tell this by examining your cervix to find out if it’s ready for labor.
There are numerous medical reasons for inducing labor prior to your due date. If may be necessary for the health of the mother and baby. Your doctor may consult a Perinatologist, who care for high-risk mothers and babies before birth, or a Neonatologist, who cares for high-risk babies after birth. The risks and the benefits will be fully discussed with you by your doctor.
The last few weeks of pregnancy allow your baby’s brain and lungs to fully mature.
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