Appointment Icon

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Ankeny)

1055 Southwest Oralabor Road
Ankeny, IA 50023

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Jordan Creek)

180 Jordan Creek Pkwy
West Des Moines, IA 50266

01 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Waukee)

950 E Hickman Rd
Waukee, IA 50263

07 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Altoona

2720 8th Street Southwest
Altoona, IA 50009

03 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Ankeny Medical Park

3625 North Ankeny Boulevard
Ankeny, IA 50023

03 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Ingersoll

2103 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Merle Hay

4020 Merle Hay Road
Des Moines, IA 50310

03 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Southglen

6520 Southeast 14th Street
Des Moines, IA 50320

03 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Urbandale

5200 NW 100th Street
Urbandale, IA 50322

05 Patients
Waiting Now

Elective Labor Induction

What is elective labor induction?

Sometimes, when a woman is nearing the end of her pregnancy, she may have her labor started (induced) rather than waiting for labor to begin on its own. This is called a labor induction. When your health care provider recommends a labor induction for your health or for the health of your baby, it is called an indicated labor induction. When labor is induced for a non-medical reason, for matters of convenience or preference, it is called an elective labor induction.

When is elective labor induction appropriate?

Electing to have your health care provider induce labor may appeal to you. However, elective labor induction is not always best for your baby. Inducing labor before you have completed 39 weeks of your pregnancy (one week away from your due date)- or before your cervix is ready-has risks. Your health care provider will follow the guidelines described here to help determine if and when elective labor induction is okay for you and your baby.

Expert Guidelines

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is a professional organization for doctors who deliver babies. The following guidelines are based on advice from this organization. Your health care provider uses these guidelines to make a safe decision about whether or not an elective induction is right for you and your baby. If you do not meet these guidelines, your health care provider may recommend letting labor take its natural course. Before inducing labor:

  • Your healthcare provider must discuss with you if you have previously had a Cesarean delivery (C-section) or major surgery on your uterus to agree on the method of delivery.
  • Your health care provider must be certain of your due date to prevent starting labor too early, before your baby is fully developed.
  • You must be at least 39 weeks along in your pregnancy.
  • Your cervix must be soft and ready to open (dilate). Your provider can tell this by examining your cervix to determine a Bishop Score, which is the standard measure for assessing the cervix's readiness for labor. A Bishop Score of at least 10 for first-time moms (8 for others), is a common point of readiness. With this score, the likelihood of having a vaginal delivery after induction is similar to that of spontaneous labor.

For more information on elective labor induction, please talk with your OB provider.