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Induction of Labour

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 resource 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 resource 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.

How to order our resources:

For Individuals, please go to "Order our Resources", choose subject "Free for Individuals" a full set can be ordered costing just $3.50 for post and packaging.

For all others, via "Order our Resources" please compile your order, if you have any difficulties,  contact MSCC on mscc@maternity.org.nz and we will assist you.