At Banner Health, we continually strive to ensure moms who deliver babies in our care go home happy and healthy.
Effective Jan. 1, 2014, Banner Health has implemented a clinical practice which establishes appropriate criteria for elective labor inductions after 39 weeks gestation across all 19 Banner facilities where babies are delivered. For low-risk patients, all Banner facilities would only do inductions after 40 and 6/7 weeks, unless the patient has an appropriate Bishop score.
These new guidelines are anticipated to lower the number of cesarean (C-section) deliveries, bleeding, use of forceps and vacuum during delivery, and decrease maternal length of stay at the hospital.
The goal is to reduce inductions without medical indications and manage elective inductions using Bishop score. The Bishop score is used to determine the cervical readiness for labor.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a Bishop score of less than eight means the cervix may not be ready for labor.
Moms and their loved ones can rest assured that their health and safety is of utmost consideration when such decisions are made.
Banner Health's Worth the Wait program, implemented in 2011, led to 9,000 more babies delivered at full term.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is an elective labor induction?
A: An induction is a medical procedure that uses a medication or other methods to stimulate labor. An elective induction is performed merely for convenience without medical benefit.
Q: At what gestational age can I schedule an elective induction?
A: At 39 weeks gestation, the decision to schedule an induction should be in partnership with your health care provider after all benefits and risks are understood. All patients can be induced at 41 weeks gestation. Gestational age will be determined based on ACOG standards.
Q. Under what circumstances will an induction be deemed necessary prior to 39 weeks?
A: There are several medical conditions that would lead to the decision to deliver your baby prior to 39 weeks. The decision to induce before 39 weeks will be determined by your health care provider to ensure the best outcome for both you and your baby.
Q: What if I have had a C-section previously and am advised by my doctor to go for another C-section? Can I have labor induced in that case? When?
A: There are many factors that go into making a decision to attempt a trial of labor after C-section. If you are interested in a vaginal birth after C-section, plan to discuss your desires with your doctor so you can make an informed/safe plan for delivery.
Q. Is maternal age considered a factor in determining the right time for induction?
A: Based on evidence, advanced maternal age (35 years or older) is a medical indication for delivery after 39 weeks gestation.
Q: I am significantly overweight. Would that require waiting until 39 weeks?
A: Obesity alone is not an indication for delivery prior to 39 weeks. A BMI equal to or greater than 40 is an indication for delivery after 39 weeks.