The Associates in Women's Health physician group located inside Woman's Hospital, is taking the stance that nature knows best. The group announced this week that its OB-GYNs will not perform scheduled, non-medical labor inductions for women between 39 and 41 weeks.
"Louisiana and especially South Louisiana have a much higher cesarean rate than many other parts of the country. That was one instigation for us to kind of take a step back and ask what is going on here," said Dr. Elizabeth Buchert.
To induce pregnancy, the mother-to-be is given medicine to throw her body into labor instead of letting the process happen naturally.
Doctors say there are legitimate medical reasons to induce labor early, such as high blood pressure. However, many doctors believe there are too many non-medical inductions which can lead to complications such as longer recovery time or breathing problems for the baby.
"Some studies show that the cesarean rate approaches 50 percent when your body isn't ready," said Buchert.
The push for no elective inductions is not without its opposition.
"It is a sticky subject because doctors schedule things because we balance a lot of things at one time. We're balancing surgeries, seeing a lot of patients in the office, deliveries and our families," said Buchert.
Buchert says some of her patients are hesitant at first when told about the new policy, but she says once women understand benefits of letting the body go into labor when it's ready that patients embrace it.
"We recognize that there are certain things we do as with all areas of medicine that sometimes make it worse for people and birth is a really common area for that to happen. I think people are just starting to realize that we've over convenienced and put too much emphasis on the scheduling that it's kind of gotten out of control," said Buchert.
Spontaneous labor is backed by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.