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It is estimated that only 4% of babies are born on their due date, with many babies arriving later rather than earlier. There are many reasons why you may be advised to have your labour induced and the risks and benefits should be fully explained to you before you agree. Inducing labour without a good reason is not recommended as this can lead to an increased likelihood of a caesarean section, ventouse (suction cap) or forceps delivery, compared to those who go into labour naturally.

Around 23% of labours are induced at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells for a variety of common reasons.  These may include;

  • Your labour has gone overdue by more than 14 days
  • Your waters have been broken for longer than 24 hours without labour starting
  • There are concerns about your or your baby’s health e.g. gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia or your baby is smaller than expected

The method used to induce your labour will depend on the reason for induction. Please read our Induction of Labour leaflet for more information on the methods we offer at Tunbridge Wells hospital. We also now offer a non-pharmacological method of induction for some women. Please read our Dilapan-S leaflet for more information.

It often takes 24-72 hours to get into active labour and this is normal.

The induction process begins on the antenatal ward, where you can have one nominated person with you to stay overnight; we ask that any other visitors only attend during the ward visiting hours – 15.30-19.30. We advise that you bring plenty of magazines or books to keep yourself entertained. You may also wish to bring a sleeping bag and pillow for your birth partner as we will be unable to provide this. Tunbridge Wells hospital has free guest WiFi for your use on the wards. When it is appropriate and safe to do so, you will be transferred to Delivery Suite to continue the next stage of your induction.

We offer a variety of pain relief options during the induction process. Please click here for more information.

For more information on Induction of labour please click here