Letting your body go into labor spontaneously is almost always the best way to know that your baby is ready to be born and that your body is ready for labor. In the vast majority of pregnancies, labor will start only when all the players — your baby, your uterus, your hormones, and your placenta — are ready. Naturally, labor usually goes better and parent and baby usually end up healthier when all systems are “go” for birth. Every day of the last weeks of pregnancy is vital to your baby’s and body’s preparation for birth.
If your labor is induced (started artificially), it becomes a medical event and proceeds quite differently from spontaneous labor. Unless you or your baby has a health problem that necessitates induction, it makes sense to wait patiently for your labor to start on its own. Even if your due date has passed and you’re longing to hold your baby, remember that your body and your baby usually have good reasons for the wait.
- Read the summary of and complete Lamaze Healthy Birth Practice Paper on letting labor begin on its own, available in eight languages, to learn more about induction of labor.
- Learn some tips for avoiding labor induction.
- Find out how to keep labor as safe and healthy as possible if you have a medical reason to be induced.
- Watch a video on why it’s healthy to let labor begin on it’s own.
For additional resources on induction, check out the following links:
- What Is the Evidence for Induction or C-section for a Big Baby at Evidence Based Birth
- What Is the Evidence for Induction for Low Fluid at Term in a Healthy Pregnancy at Connecting the Dots
- Avoidance of Nonmedically Indicated Early-Term Deliveries and Associated Neonatal Morbidities at American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists