Induction of Labor (IOL) is the use of artificial interventions to begin uterine contractions when they have not yet started on their own. Sometimes this is done for medical reasons, such as a poor biophysical profile and sometimes it is done for social reasons, such as a doctor's upcoming vacation or a mother's desire to get the pregnancy over with. Social inductions carry a higher degree of risk relative to little or no medical benefits. A baby may be full term by dates and actually turn out to be premature by exam after birth. Dates are notoriously unreliable. Also there is evidence that normal pregnancy is actually longer than previously thought, especially in primiparas. I have seen many socially induced newborns spend their first week of life in the NICU, enduring many uncomfortable and invasive procedures that would not have been needed had they been allowed to "brew" a bit longer. Meanwhile many socially induced moms spend time recovering from what was a surprise caesarean section brought on by the cascade of negative medical outcomes that social inductions often cause.

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