Choosing Wisely®

Elective Inductions of Labor Between 39 and 41 Weeks


Avoid elective, non-medically indicated inductions of labor between 39 weeks, 0 days and 41 weeks, 0 days unless the cervix is deemed favorable.

  • Ideally, labor should start on its own initiative whenever possible.
  • Higher Cesarean delivery rates result from inductions of labor when the cervix is unfavorable.
  • Health care clinicians should discuss the risks and benefits with their patients before considering inductions of labor without medical indications.

This recommendation is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about this recommendation or their individual situation should consult their physician.

About Choosing Wisely®

The Choosing Wisely®(  campaign was created as an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation( to improve health care quality. More than 70 specialty societies have identified commonly used tests or procedures within their specialties that are possibly overused.

Learn more about the AAFP support of the Choosing Wisely® campaign.