Patience is truly a virtue after 9 long months, especially when you're a few weeks or days from your due date. The swollen feet, extra pounds and late-night bathroom trips can take their toll. Wouldn't it be easier to just schedule your baby's birth and get the show on the road?
Elective induction offers the satisfaction of knowing your baby's birth date in advance, but it might not go as planned. Sometimes women scheduled for induction are bumped from the hospital agenda because the staff is busy. Plus, induction doubles your risk of cesarean birth. The major risk of elective induction is that your baby may not be ready to be born. Experts agree that a normal pregnancy lasts between 38 and 42 weeks, and research indicates that the baby actually initiates the labor process. Once his lungs are fully mature, he releases a protein that tells his mother's body that it's time. A baby born even a few weeks early is at an increased risk for breathing problems, admission to special-care nurseries and breastfeeding difficulties.