Induction of labour is big topic, not really a quick blog post topic, but let's try and cover the basics. Induction has been becoming more common place, as a Doula, I see this all the time. And it's on the rise. Obstetricians often offer an induction beginning at 39 weeks. This is because some studies have shown that the cesarean rates are somewhat decreased if induced at 39 weeks.
It is super important to remember that there are hard and soft indicators for induction.
*your 39 weeks
*your over your estimated due date
*well controlled gestational diabetes
*suspected big baby
*for your providers convenience
*done being pregnant
*uncontrolled gestational diabetes
*intrauterine growth restriction
*your 42 weeks + (this is when stillbirth becomes statistically significant)
There are always some exceptions to both hard and soft indications, this is just a quick list.
75% of people will give birth by 41 weeks and 2 days after the last menstrual period. You may find yourself under pressure by a provider to get labour started. If there are no hard indicators that waiting for baby is a problem, remember, you have a choice. You can decline an induction. You can ask for some work up to ensure baby is happy. Inductions have risks, often those risks far outweigh the risk of waiting for labour to begin on it's own. Know your options and understand the difference between relative risk vs. absolute risk (your actual risk rather than a population level risk). Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself. Your due date is not an expiration date in a low risk pregnancy!