Things You Wish You Knew About Labor Induction

By Amanda Roland

When pregnant, most future mothers will have an ideal birthing plan. They hope against all odds that they will have control over everything that will happen in the delivery room. The reality is that your labor story is going to be unique and most likely nothing like how you planned it to be. Labor Induction is a common way that many mothers bring their babies into the world; however, it is seldom a part of the mother’s idea plan. Being induced can be a complicated and daunting process, so it is best to ask as many questions about it to your doctor and be prepared with an open mind.

According to the Mayo Clinic, labor induction is defined as the “stimulation of uterine contractions during pregnancy before labor begins on its own to achieve a vaginal birth.” In other words, it is the process of making your body ready to deliver a baby when your body isn’t quite there yet. Labor induction will look differently for every mom. Here are some things to keep in mind if you have to be induced:

Being Dilated

One thing that some moms-to-be don’t expect from labor induction is the process of being manually dilated. If you are not dilated enough, or not at all, cervical ripening agents will be used to help the “cervix soften and thin out in preparation for labor,” according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). “Medications or devices may be used to soften the cervix so it will stretch (dilate) for labor.”

Everyone knows that pain is inevitable with all types of labor. However, being manually dilated can be very uncomfortable and painful for many women. Also for new mothers, it can be a scary situation if you are not prepared. Do not be afraid to ask your doctors and nurses questions! That is what they are there for, and voicing your thoughts and concerns can make you feel more comfortable and in the know.

Labor Induction Can Be a Long Process

How long your labor will last all depends on the state of your body when induction began. If your cervix was not ripe at all in the beginning and depending on how your body responds to the medications, it can take hours or even a couple of days for labor to start, according to the Mayo Clinic.

You Can Be Induced Before Your Due Date

Some may think that labor induction will only be a possibility if you are far past your due date. While this is a major factor, it is not always the case. Complications like fetal growth restriction, gestational diabetes, chorioamnionitis (an infection in the uterus) and many other factors can contribute to your doctor’s decision to induce labor before your due date has come, according to the Mayo Clinic.

While labor induction may not be a part of your ideal birth plan, trust that your doctors. They are doing what is best for mommy and baby. It will be exciting to know that once you are induced, you are that much closer to holding your new healthy baby.

Always consult your doctor about your own birthing process and to answer any questions about your induction/birth plan.


At 41 weeks, Tyler was still pretty comfortable where he was and my body wasn’t showing any signs of labor. So, I went into the delivery room ready to be induced. My induction started when my cervix was not dilated at all and it was a long and tiresome process. In all honesty, I was not fully prepared for the toll that it would have on my body and my birth plan was pretty much thrown out the window when I realized I couldn’t labor in the bath tub as planned, HaHa! Being induced taught me that all babies enter the world on their own terms, a mother will do anything she can to ensure her baby enters happy and healthy and that the human body is amazing!

~ Nicole, EIC Giggle Magazine