Elective Induction of Labor: What is the Impact?

Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2017 Dec;44(4):601-614. doi: 10.1016/j.ogc.2017.08.005.


Elective induction of labor (ie, without a maternal or fetal indication) is common in the United States. When using the correct comparison group (elective induction vs expectant management) induction is not associated with an increased risk of cesarean delivery. Moreover, elective induction after 39 weeks seems to have maternal benefits (eg, lower infection rates) as well as a reduction in neonatal morbidity and the potential for a decrease in term stillbirth. However, these risks, especially stillbirth, are low in a healthy cohort and there are potential negative impacts on maternal satisfaction, breastfeeding, and cost/resource use that must be considered.

Keywords: Cesarean delivery; Elective induction; Induction of labor; Non–medically indicated induction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cesarean Section / statistics & numerical data
  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Labor, Induced* / adverse effects
  • Labor, Induced* / methods
  • Patient Care Management / methods
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Adjustment / methods*
  • Risk Assessment