What is labor induction?

Labor induction is the process of artificially starting labor to deliver a baby. Sometimes healthcare providers induce labor to speed up the process of childbirth. Several methods may induce labor, including medications and rupturing the amniotic membrane (the innermost layer of your placenta).

Why is labor induction done?

The main reason healthcare providers induce labor is to protect the health of the baby and mother. Take time to talk to your healthcare provider if an induction is suggested.

Your healthcare provider may recommend labor induction if:

  • You are a week or more past your baby’s expected due date
  • Your health or your baby’s health is at risk
  • Your amniotic sac breaks, but uterine contractions do not begin

Who may need labor induction?

If you have certain medical conditions, like diabetes or high blood pressure, labor induction might help lower the risk of complications for you and your baby. Your healthcare provider may recommend labor induction if you have a past history of stillbirth. Inducing labor could help protect your baby’s health and prevent another stillbirth.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy