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Barwon Health / Maternity Services

(03) 4215 2060

Induction of Labour

Induction of labour refers to bringing on labour by artificial means.Most common reasons for induction:

  • The woman has particular health concerns (such as diabetes or high blood pressure)
  • There are concerns about your baby’s wellbeing
  • The pregnancy has gone on longer than 41 weeks and 3 days
  • The waters have already broken, but the contractions of labour have not started naturally 

You will only be offered an induction of labour if your health or your baby’s health is at risk

When your doctor or midwife recommends an induction you can expect that they will explain:

  • why it is a good idea for you to be induced
  • the possible risks to your health or your pregnancy if you wait for labour to start naturally
  • the possible risks if you have an induction
  • how they plan to induce your baby

If they don’t explain, use this list to ask them questions. Some women will choose to 'wait and see' if labour will start on its own. It’s important that you consider all the risks and benefits in your particular situation so that you are able to make a well-informed decision.

Risks with induction

While not having an induction can put the health and even the life of your baby at risk, there are also risks with having an induction.

  • Having an induction for reasons other than prolonged pregnancy may increase the chance that you will need an emergency caesarean section.
  • Women who are induced are more likely to experience above average blood loss after the birth.

How is labour induced?

First the doctor or midwife will do an examination of your cervix. The examination takes only a few minutes but it can be a little uncomfortable. Based on this examination your doctor or midwife will recommend one of the following methods of induction:


Last Modified: Thursday, 25 July 2019