Induction of Labour

Please note our Induction of Labour resource is currently being updated and is unavailable to order at this time.

The majority of healthy pregnant women can expect labour to begin naturally and the process of labour to   result in the birth of a healthy baby. However, induction of labour is one of the most common medical interventions in the birth process and it often results in a cascade of further interventions. For mothers who have had an uncomplicated pregnancy it is usually preferable to wait until labour begins of its own accord as there are significant risks involve when labour is artificially induced.

The Maternity Services Consumer Council has produced a pamphlet to provide you with evidence-based information about induction of labour. It is based on the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) 2008 Guideline “Induction of labour.”

Information in the pamphlet covers:

  • What is induction of labour?
  • Reasons for induction
  • Methods of induction
  • Nonmedical or ‘natural’ methods of induction
  • Risks of induction
  • The importance of oxytocin, the main birth hormone

Before you give consent to have your labour induced your midwife or doctor should make sure you understand why it is being recommended, and explain the risks, benefits and possible consequences of the induction method being offered. While the use of induction is widespread and there are a number of methods available, there is still much that is unknown about the adverse effects of inductions, particularly the long-term impact.

You also have the right to ask for a second opinion from another health professional.

If you would like to receive a copy of our pamphlet – a single copy is available free of charge – or wish to order copies for your practice, then please contact us at or download a copy of our order form from our website. Please note there is a charge for ordering multiple copies of this series of pamphlets; the charge depends on how many you order.