Early Signs You’re Going To Be Induced, According To An Expert

Belly of pregnant woman with ctg scanning
By Abi Berwager Schreier | Originally Published March 10, 2018 on Romper | Featuring Dr. Sherry Ross

There’s a lot of scheduling and planning when it comes to having a baby. There’s the baby shower, figuring out childcare (no matter what option you chooses), and the OB-GYN appointments, scans, tests. But what about scheduling the actual labor itself? How do you know if you’ll have to schedule your labor, too? Are there early signs you’re going to be induced?

According to Dr. Sherry Ross, OB-GYN and women’s health expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, and author of She-Ology, early signs you’ll probably need to be induced include being diagnosed with high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, or your baby isn’t growing the way he or she should. In most cases, “Medically indicated inductions should occur after 34 weeks ideally unless it’s a matter of life and death for mom or baby,” she explains in an email interview with Romper. Additionally, the Mayo Clinic noted these other signs you’ll need to be induced: you have an infection in your uterus, your water has broken but you haven’t gone into labor yet, your placenta “peels away from the inner wall of the uterus before delivery,” or you have kidney disease or are obese.

What about an elective induction? Ross says, “Elective inductions can also be considered for a nonmedical reason at 39 weeks if the cervix is favorable for induction. An example of elective induction is if a previous delivery happened quickly and there are concerns the woman would not make it to the hospital when she goes into labor,” she says. However, you’ll have to have an “inducible” or “favorable” cervix, according to Ross. “A cervix is favorable when it’s thinned out and dilated before the induction begins. Labor tends to go more quickly and is more likely to be a vaginal birth with a favorable cervix,” she explains. If your cervix is “unfavorable,” the process of being induced may take a couple of days or end up in a cesarean section.

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