The frequency of induction of labour (IOL) in late-term pregnancy has increased significantly, but little is known about how women with uncomplicated pregnancies experience IOL for late-term indication alone.
To explore how women with uncomplicated pregnancies experienced late-term IOL.
Qualitative interviews were conducted with 23 women who all had labour induced on late-term indication only. Participants were recruited from two Danish hospitals who offered an outpatient induction regime. The women were interviewed 4–8 weeks after birth. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.
All women had hoped for a spontaneous birth. Prolonged pregnancy was understood as the body/baby “not being ready”, but generally, the women were not worried at that point. Most women felt adequately informed about the reasons for IOL, but some requested more information and time to consider their options. The majority considered IOL to be both an offer and a recommendation. One-third of the participants were initially hesitant but chose/accepted IOL because of weariness from pregnancy and the impatience to deliver a healthy child. The opportunity of outpatient induction was generally appreciated as it allowed the women to continue everyday activities while waiting for labour to begin. Nineteen women reported having a good birthing experience. Two women felt that negative birthing experiences were partly related to IOL.
Most women considered the late-term IOL to be a positive experience. Some women requested more information and time to consider alternatives. These women should be provided with supported opportunities to consider the options.