In this position paper—one of six care practice papers published by Lamaze International and reprinted here with permission—the benefit of allowing labor to begin on its own is discussed and presented as an evidence-based practice that helps promote, protect, and support normal birth. The paper is written for childbearing women and their families. The accompanying commentary—written by a leading home-birth midwife and prominent national and international speaker on maternity care—describes further evidence of the disadvantages of inducing labor. The indications for and risks of induction are also explored. Lamaze International recommends that, unless there is a medical indication for induction, labor should be allowed to begin on its own.
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