OB/GYN Explains Induction of Labor: Pros, Cons, and What You Need to Know

YouTube video

The Doctors Bjorkman, a board-certified OB/GYN and Pediatrician couple who are also new parents share what you need to know about labor induction, when it’s indicated, the potential risks/benefits, and review of the ARRIVE Trial. They also share the decision they made for Sarah’s pregnancy and their own baby.

We also got a lot of questions about the ARRIVE trial and risks/benefits seen in elective inductions of otherwise healthy pregnancy at 39 weeks. Because of this, we went back and added some more information about this from a prior version of this episode — 11:30

0:00 Intro
1:27 What is an induction?
3:12 Why have an induction?
5:34 How an induction works
10:40 Elective inductions
11:30 The ARRIVE Trial
18:51 Pros & Cons
22:40 Our own ‘In Real Life” decision

Read the ARRIVE Trial yourself:

**Weekly pregnancy updates on Wednesdays! We will be covering everything from TTC, infertility, prenatal care, labor and delivery, best baby gear, your baby’s week by week development, postpartum concerns, and other pregnancy tips and tricks!

Affiliate links to all products mentioned in video here:

Also check out our video to learn “What You Need to Pack to Bring to the Hospital for Mom, Partner, and Baby!”:

Intro Music: A WAY FOR ME – Nicolai Heidlas by Chem Ocampo

Keywords: pregnancy update, the doctors bjorkman, third trimester pregnancy, pregnancy, obgyn, labor


Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information.

Show More


  1. I had 4 inductions. First was at 39w elective with cytotec. Baby had horrible reactions, low heart rate/oxygen issues. Had an epidural and couldn’t feel my contractions or pushing. Baby was out in 30 mins and I never felt it. Total process 14hrs from start to finish. Babies 2-4 all were induced with pitocin only at 37w for hypertension. Very VERY painful active labor contractions but painless “developing” contractions. I would progress from 3-10cm within less than 2 hours. My last baby I progressed in just under 1 hour from when my water was broken. Highly recommend pitocin over cytotec as my child developed intellectual disabilities and my other children were perfectly healthy. Just get the epidural to help mitigate pain with active pitocin labor and it’ll be fine. One birth had no time for epidural and it was traumatizing.

  2. I’m 41 weeks and going to be induced tomorrow. First baby and no real signs of labour and I’m not really dilated. Wish us well. 💖

  3. Thank you so much for this video – I have to be induced at 39 weeks due to GDM and this helped me feel not only better about it, but also like it is the right decision. This type of information is difficult to find so I appreciate it. 🥰

  4. I was passed my due date, I had to be induced to go into labor because my water never broke. then I stay 1 centimeter so I had to get a emergency C-section. I remember the Dr. Saying dam Meconium green and my baby umbilical cord was wrapped around my baby neck. So yes for me I was sad that I never got know what it is to pushed. Then I was told that if I have more baby's they will be delivered by C-section. No more baby's for me. But I do feel guilty because my wonderful husband that I'm with never had kids and he loves my beautiful daughter like his own and I just won't give him own child this pregnancy was horrible and bad memories with my ex.

  5. Am currently 24w3d with my first baby. Since I have pump-dependent T1DM, I have already been told that the plan is to induce me at 38 weeks so this video is very helpful! Thanks

  6. Thanks so much for this video. I'm 38weeks + 2 days and really need this baby to come this week. Can I not get an elective induction at 38 wks+

  7. I’ll see my Dr on Monday, to talk about induction. This is my first baby so this video is very helpful.
    Thank you!

  8. Before I was induced I had people trying to scare me, but it was medically necessary due to severe preeclampsia. Basically I was told by a midwife that if it was really medically necessary they would have induced me right then but my doctor was trying to give baby a little time as I was only 35 weeks and she was pretty small. I was very happy with my experience though and my doctor and nurses were amazing my entire experience.

  9. I am currently 34 weeks and 4 days pregnant with my daughter I have to be induced on my 39th week my ob is having me come in the night of August 31st 2022 and hope to have her on sept. 1st the following day and my reasoning is due to having gestational hypertension along with my own health issues I am an epileptic with COPD etc my husband and I had 11 miscarriages prior to her 1 being a d and c at 10 weeks gestation and first little one that has stuck through the whole way healthy perfect percentile 100 percent chance of living beautiful healthy little one first time this has happened for us we are excited overwhelmed scared all of the above I always thought I'd have a natural birthing experience but due to my health during gestation and my whole life as well I have to be induced I chose the 39th week due to the fact that it's a fullterm induction and my dad passed last year on August 24th covid took him away from us he always wanted a granddaughter and I have finally been able to give him that. He would have been 51 this year on September 1st so I hope to be able to give him the best birthday gift the gift of life I know he will be there in that room with me in spirit and I know he will be watching over us the whole way through proud as can be. It is now July 31st today and his 1 year of his passing is coming up not too far off from the night of the start of my induction so I'm a little emotional leading up to everything but I believe with all of me that we will both be okay and make it through can you please pray for both me my husband and our daughter little miss savannah Christine rose Ellsworth!! Thank you!

  10. My daughter is being induced at 39 weeks 5 days , the reason the doctors are giving is her BMi is higher than they would like , everything is normal , bp perfect , all urine and blood tests normal she DOES NOT have pregnancy diabetes , they tested her twice ! ! The baby boy is measuring 8 pounds 7 ounces , is it normal to advice induction based solely on the mums BMi ?

  11. I was 42 weeks gestation – doc induced me. Had 48 hrs of labor ending in fetal distress and failure to progress. Had C sec. Baby was 9lb 4 oz. This was in 1983. Im sure things would have been different today!

  12. First time mom I've had a healthy pregnancy. I'm 40 weeks next week if she's not here by then I'll have my membrane sweep at my next appointment and set a date for an induction just incase the membrane sweep doesn't work.

  13. The Arrive trial that is linked is actually the wrong one, it has nothing to do with pregnancy… Just a warning. I'm going to search for it myself

  14. How will this work with Texas abortion law? Help please. I live in Texas and I’m thinking of getting pregnant. What do you think are risks? Concerns? Any advice?

  15. I really appreciate that you shared your personal experience with pitocin and the Foley balloon being more than just "a little uncomfortable" with my first I needed an induction and the whole process was honestly really traumatic. I'll be electing for an induction for my second as well (currently 39 weeks) and hopefully it's a better experience but labor is never a walk in the park I guess.

  16. Remember when your pregnancy week is estimated after your first ultrasound there is a + or – 7 days of error so if you are 40 weeks and have not gone into labor there’s a good chance you really are 39 weeks or even less.

  17. I'm 40 weeks today! Doctor said they'll induce me on 40w 6d if nothing happens between now and then. I'm crossing my fingers for spontaneous labor, but this video is helping a lot with the worries about induction. Thank you!

  18. Thank you for this, I was just told I am going to be Induced due to being diagnosed with Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy

  19. I’m being induced in a week and 2 days, my doctor technically gave me the choice but also recommended it due to my baby being in the 97th percentile for her size. Would a baby’s size being the reason for induction be considered medically necessary or elective?

  20. I'm about to have my third baby, my water broke naturally with both my pregnancies and my body is on track to do the same this time. But my doctor wants me to have an induction with no reason. I have no health issues and neither does my baby, and I had a very positive pregnancy experience.

  21. I’ve been having steadily higher BP for the last month (ruled out preeclampsia) and now I’m 39 weeks and 2 days, getting induced tomorrow night. I’m definitely nervous!

  22. I’m a first time mama 🤰🏻🥰
    I was advised by my midwife to be medically induced
    Due to my baby’s growth
    I was 38 weeks and 4 days when I was told that I measured at 40 weeks
    I’m currently 39 weeks and 2 days
    Wish me luck😩😩

  23. As an expectant twin mama, the word induction has been popular. I am at week 24. A lot of twin moms choose it. I’m still not sure. I just hope we make it to 36-38 weeks!

  24. Just my advice: if you start the induction process, are on Pitocin, and get to the point your OB has to break your water, I would give up on any "natural birth" ideas you ever have and get that epidural ASAP! Pitocin contractions and natural contractions ARE NOT THE SAME THING! Also, do not let them put your IV in your dominant hand- very important. If the nurse can't find a vein in your dominant hand- tell them cool, please go find someone else better than you. You don't know how long the process will be after induction, and do you want to spend 2 days wiping yourself with your IV hand? No it's gross and annoying!

  25. Would love to hear your opinions on 'traditional' methods of prepping the body / cervix for labour, ie eating dates or drinking raspberry leaf tea etc in the lead up to being full term/40 weeks? Any evidence to back them up? 🙃

  26. Given that myself, my sister, my husband, and HIS sister all went past 41.5 weeks, I'm fairly certain I'll have to be induced at 41 weeks, aka Eviction Day

  27. I was scared to be induced. I had to be induced in 40weeks. I had a little water left. It was at the borderline – 5cm. I watched videos about being induced. yes, kind of scary. But truthfully for me it was easy. I came to the hospital 2.5cm dialated and when being induced after 2 hours I was 6cm dialated. The progress for fast for me. Contractions do get stronger, it went from feeling pain 2-3 to a 7-8 fast and there are no breaks between, I had like 30 seconds break. I wanted an epidural so I got it. I was more scared to get an epidural but it was easy. The labor was fast for me. Everything from going to the hospital and delivering my baby was 9hours. This was my first baby.

  28. I just find being induced unnecessary, my OB is trying to induce me at 36 weeks and I’ve told them no multiple times and currently trying to seek a second opinion

  29. I've had 5 children and 3 were induced- one with Cervadil, and 2 with membrane rupture and then Pitocin. I had labour augmented with one delivery as well after I went into labour on my own. I can't imagine choosing to have an election induction at 39 weeks- that's definitely not for me!

  30. For me, the scariest part of labour is the idea of ob-gyns limiting me, forcing and rushing it somehow (especially in my country, where non-intervention births are a rarity and where rudeness and insensitivity to labouring women is a standard).

    If anyone is considering an elective induction purely based on the data of the mild benefits of this study, and is not really in need of it (like needing to schedule husband's week off etc), I strongly advise reading up on the cascade of medical interventions. As a biologist I believe labour and birth are natural processes and most of us should be able to physiologically deliver our babies safely (despite the fact that on average babies' heads are getting bigger and women's hips more narrow). Intervening with this process very often causes (in my opinion unnecessary) extra pain, it intervenes with various not yet 100 % clear hormone pathways, of which some help naturally to ease the pain, not remember it and then, after birth release endorphins and help bond with baby and produce milk.

    If you have to be medically induced, I wish you luck, and we shall all be grateful that our medicine has advanced in a way that we can help diagnose and protect moms/babies with different conditions.

    But if it's just a matter of choice, I can't stress you read up more on inductions, post-partum depression, PTSD and trauma from birth and weigh in all you can find before making your informed decision.
    Pitocin is an indication to be on constant electric monitoring (CardioTocoGraphy), because since it's unnatural, it tends to cause much stronger and more painful contractions that can raise the likelihood of baby having heart-rate issues and that you may have various issues that I'd say are from very rare to rare. CTG usually renders you bed ridden, which can further slow down labour, potentially cause you (especially if you also get pain meds due to the disproportional pain) permanent back issues, lower the oxygen coming to baby due to pressure on arteries bringing oxygenated blood etc.

    For the record, I only have one baby, but I waited until he asked to come to Earth-side on his own (I had the luxury of my husband being able to ask for vacation almost any time) and was determined to wait until at least 42 weeks and decide after that (first time moms on average have longer gestations, but data on this is getting worse due to so many being pushed to getting induced after being post 40 weeks), had a very natural birth despite the hospital setting (no medications, no excessive controls, monitoring, restrictions, no rush, no forced positions, no limit on water intake, no pitocin, prostaglandins, no routine episiotomy, membrane sweeps, no painkillers… they did, however, rush the birthing of the placenta by pulling on it, but at that point I didn't care too much) in a natural position (better for me and baby, less convenient for doctors), I kind of remember that the contractions pre-birth were quite painful, the birth itself I don't remember the pain of at all. Zero, I remember being focused on it and pushing, but my vision was red and black, too busy for thinking of pain. I had first degree minor tears. The worst pain was the freezing while they were stitching me up (they poured cold disinfectant on me, I was just exhausted after giving birth to my baby, it was snowing outside and I was naked and they were asking me continually not to shiver while they, all warm and dressed, stitched me up).
    I am quite small and was worried about milk production since I didn't gain enough weight, but all of this worked without an issue (even to my surprise).

    I know it is not possible for everyone and thank God we have scientific advancements to help with those cases, but if it's a matter of choice, I'd advise to consider just waiting for the body to start the cascade naturally.

  31. I had spontaneous labours with my first and second pregnancies 38 weeks + 5 days, 39 weeks + 3 days. I have never experienced being induced, and hopefully I never will, unless for any medical reasons. I'm currently 30 weeks pregnant with baby#3.

  32. I was induced at 41w, 5d with pitocin. Super scary for me. I ended up with a fever all during labor, and my baby was born was a fever too. The contractions were extremely intense (unfortunately had back labor too). I so wish that I had had more knowledge about it prior to my delivery. I had very brief talks about it and everyone told me that it was extremely painful.

  33. Thank you so much for sharing! I had a failed induction at 38 weeks, medical induction due to gestational diabetes and cholestasis. I hope this video helps a new mom 🙂

  34. I thought I’d share my story as someone who had an unfavorable cervix but had to be induced at 38+2 due to gestational hypertension. I started at 1cm and after 6 doses of Cytotec in 24 hours, I had only progressed to a 1.5cm with a still very firm and high cervix. I was having regular contractions the entire 24 hours. OB gave me the option to go home if I wanted too and try again the following week but we would have to be monitoring my BP every couple of hours and running Pre-E labs every other day or I could stay and keep trying but if I continued to not progress, there was a possibly I would end up having a cesarean as it could put too much stress on the baby. I decided to stay but asked if we could try a different medication. They inserted Cervidil and I instantly felt a shift in my contractions. At the 6 hour mark, I had my bloody show and felt very optimistic. At the 12 hour mark, they did a cervical check and I was 5cm dilated. They broke my water and I decided to get an epidural to allow my body to relax and progress as I had been in labor for 36 hours at this point. Pitocin was started shortly after. Within 2 hours, I went from 5cm to 10cm. Did one practice push and had to labor down because my doctor was still on his way and nurses were scared I’d push him out before he arrived. Baby’s heart rate began to drop and before I knew it, baby was out in 3 pushes. Had a 1st degree tear that required only 2 stitches. Although it was not the labor I imagined at all, I am so glad it did not end in a cesarean and I was able to deliver vaginally.

  35. I'm getting elective induction in a week as my husband needs to leave for his military assignment. I'm getting a little bit nervous but my OB thinks that the baby might actually come out even before induction date. Crossing my fingers!

  36. Im scheduled to be induced on Wednesday. Currently 40+5 days. This video put me more at ease going into this induction.

  37. Can getting induced increase the risks of shoulder dystocia? Does inducing earlier reduce the risk if you have already had a baby that had shoulder dystocia?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button