Elective induction of labor: friend or foe?

Brett D. Einerson*, William A. Grobman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Elective induction of labor is defined as labor induction in the absence of a clear medical indication. Whether elective labor induction at 39 weeks is a reasonable option for obstetric practice has been a hotly debated topic for decades. Historically, labor induction in low-risk nulliparous women has been discouraged due to the belief that this intervention increases the risk for cesarean delivery without a clear benefit. This review discusses the observational and randomized data that have informed this debate, focusing on recent studies that have reshaped how we think about elective labor induction at 39 weeks of gestation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number151214
JournalSeminars in Perinatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • Cesarean
  • Labor induction
  • Neonatal morbidity
  • Obstetrics
  • Shared decision making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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