Let nature run its course. Babies delivered before 39 weeks have more complications. So in 2001, Intermountain Healthcare, Utah, whose 21 hospitals handle 30,000 births a year, began to eliminate elective inductions for first-time mothers before 39 weeks. They found that those with a low (0-2) Bishop Score (a measure of how "ripe" the cervix is), even at 39 weeks, had labors that averaged 21 hours and C-section rates of almost 50 percent. With a score of 10, labor lasted 91/2 hours and C-sections dropped to 8 percent. The result: Inappropriate elective inductions declined by more than 50 percent.