Elective early deliveries that involve induction of labor or scheduled C sections that are performed for no medical reason constitute some 40% of deliveries in the United States. The WSJ article speaks of a report put out by Leapfrog, a health benefit coalition that indentified the problem of unnecessary early deliveries.
Unless there is a medical necessity for doing so, babies should not be delivered ahead of their due date, urge doctors and researchers. Those last weeks of gestation are very important for a baby’s development, in particular brain and the lungs.
Apart from the health considerations, there is the monetary consideration to think of as well here – the early elective deliveries actually cost the US health care system nearly one billion dollars a year.
The benefits of an early delivery such as a C section or induced labor should be weighed against the possible cons before deciding whether this is advisable. The safety and the efficacy of induction of labor depends upon the health of the woman and the baby. It is largely advisable to wait for labor to start on its own since this is safer for mother and child.