Induction: Should I Be Induced?

I am one day overdue. I experienced pretty severe swelling in my legs and hands, and my blood pressure, which is normally low, has been up for a little over a month. Last week, the doctor found that I was dilated three to four centimeters and told me that if I didn't go into labor by the end of the week, he wanted to induce, because my blood pressure was still "hovering." By the end of the week, I was five centimeters dilated and the baby looked great on the monitor. Should I be induced if I don't go into labor soon?


Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

It is a bit unusual, but not abnormal, for the cervix to dilate this much before labor. The question of induction is difficult, but I would be more inclined to agree that one may be indicated in your situation.

Be aware that your doctor's five centimeter measurement may not be the same as someone else's. This is somewhat subjective. If the cervix is very thin and five centimeters and the baby's head is engaged, a lot of the work has already been done. All you may need is for someone to rupture your bag of waters to get labor initiated. This would prevent you from delivering too quickly or at home or on the way to the hospital.

Sometimes, getting the bowels going with prune juice or creating some contractions with one to two minutes of nipple stimulation is just as effective as a major induction. Orgasm has also been known to start labor if the baby is ready to be born. Stripping the membranes (where a care provider separates the bag of waters from the cervix with a finger during a vaginal exam) might also work.

One last note: Don't be disappointed if your cervix goes back a bit when the bag of waters is ruptured. This is normal.

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