It appears everyone agrees induction of labor for purely social or medical convenience is bad medicine.

Normal, uncomplicated labor and delivery usually occur where the standard of pre-natal care is good and complicating factors are recognised and dealt with early in the pregnancy.

In these cases, home delivery would be possible. But most doctors are reluctant to return to this form of obstetrics, because, when complications arise, they are likely to do so quickly and it is then difficult to summon aid promptly.

A compromise, with delivery in surroundings approximating home conditions and with the husband and other family members present, seems to offer the advantages of both extreme positions.

Induction too early, with possible prematurity, constitutes a risk. Conversely, allowing the pregnancy to go on too long is associated with some risks to the baby, in the form of post-maturity (over-term).

The answer to what is best for both the mother and the child has not been universally accepted.

But what is best for the doctor and the hospital must remain subservient to the needs of the two patients involved for each pregnancy.


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