Is your doctor recommending inducing labor? Have they told you what your Bishop Score is? No, you say? I didn't think so. A Bishop Score is a tool that can be used to give an idea of how sucessful an induction will be in terms of it resulting in a vaginally born baby. Generally, when I ask parents if their OB has told them their Bishop Score before induction, they will look confused and say no.
I believe that doctors don't share this information for two reasons. One: a less informed patient is a more compliant patient. The less you know, the less you argue with the experts. Two: at the end of the day, it doesn't matter to them if the baby comes out vaginally or surgically. They still get paid.
Here's what you need to know: The Bishop Score is a group of measurements that can be used to determine if an induction would be sucessful or if it would be better to wait or to try cervical ripening methods before doing things like breaking your water or using pitocin.
The Bishops Score generally follows this scale:
Score Dilatation Effacement Station Position Consistency
0 closed 0 – 30% - 3 posterior firm
1 1-2 cm 40 -50% -2 mid-position moderately firm
2 3-4 cm 60 -70% -1,0 anterior soft
3 5+ cm 80+% +1,+2
A point is added to the score for each of the following:
Each prior vaginal delivery
A point is subtracted from the score for:
Premature or prolonged rupture of membranes
cesarean rates: first time mothers --- women with past vaginal deliveries
scores of 0 – 3: 45% 7.7%
scores of 4 - 6: 10% 3.9%
scores of 7 - 10: 1.4% .9%
In other words, the closer to 10 your score is, the more likely it is that your induction will end with a vaginal birth. The lower the score, the more your risk for a surgical birth increases.
If your doctor is talking induction, ask them "What is my Bishop score? What are the benefits of inducing now? What are the risks of waiting? What if I want to wait?"
Bishop score stats taken from http://www.amazingpregnancy.com/