By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TVBy Paula Ebben

BOSTON (CBS) – Wondering when or where they will go into labor can be a huge source of anxiety for pregnant women.   That is why many moms-to-be ask their doctors to induce labor a week or two early so they have time to make plans.

It can be a great option for people like Jennifer Davis whose husband was serving overseas when her daughter was born. “Not being able to be there was pretty tough on him,” she said.   Jennifer’s doctor actually suggested she schedule an early induction so Chris could be on the phone when the baby arrived.  “He got to, in a sense, be there without actually being there,” she said.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology, in the last two decades, the rate of women being induced has more than doubled.  “Moms wanted to have the convenience of having the babies born at a time that was good for them and physicians perceived the risk to the baby was very low,” explained Frank Mazza, a hospital patient safety officer.

But now, a growing number of institutions are adopting hospital-wide bans against non-medical induction before 39 weeks.  “There are increased short-term risks such as having issues that require going to the neo-natal intensive care nursery. Even the long term data that have been done suggest greater long-term risks,” explained Dr. William Grobman, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  There is also some evidence that suggests induced labor increases the risk of cesarean delivery.

While some mothers may not like it, most understand the policy. “Even though they are uncomfortable and really would like to have the baby out yesterday, they do understand that they want a healthy baby also,” said OB-GYN Dr. Alinda Cox.

Jennifer understands why the policies are changing, but she is glad the option was available to her.  “I’d do it again in a heartbeat,” she said.

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