Induction of labor is occasionally indicated in patients such as those with eclampsia or severe diabetes, in cases of Rh-negative women with rising titers who have lost previous babies, and, rarely, in cases of proved postmaturity. In addition, environmental hazards sometimes make induction of labor necessary. For example, in the community in which we practice, patients come from as far as 100 miles to be delivered of their infants. In winter, with the roads frequently blocked, it is understandable that the expectant mother, and her doctor too, are anxious to arrange for the delivery at a convenient time.
We feel that induction of labor is safe when certain definite requirements are met. First, the fetus must be at term, and there must be definite roentgenographic evidence that the fetus is adequately developed and that it is in a position for a vertex presentation. Second, the fetal head must be fixed