When is it done?
Labor may be induced in the following cases
- The baby’s due date has crossed by more than a week and he either shows signs of being distressed or the placenta starts to fail.
- You have a medical condition like hypertension that puts either you or your baby to risk
What is done?
Induction is always planned in advance and you will be admitted in the hospital a day before. Labour is induced by either of the following ways
- Pessary: A pessary is inserted into the vagina. The pessary contains a hormone that softens the cervix. Normally you may go into labour in an hour or so but if it’s your first delivery, it may not be that effective. This is usually done in the evening or very early morning
- Breaking the waters: The doctor makes a small hole in the bag of water surrounding the baby, if the labour hasn’t started within eight to twelve hours. Most women don’t feel any pain and contractions usually start soon afterwards.
- Hormone: A hormone is given at a controlled rate given which makes the womb contract through a drip attached to your arm. Ask for the drip to be inserted in that arm which you use the least.
How labor is induced
Contractions start after the induction tablet (pessary) or gel applied inside the vagina.
Induction of labor usually takes some time, especially when the cervix (the neck of the uterus) needs to be softened with pessaries or gels.
If you have been given vaginal tablet or gel, doctors usually allow you to wait after you have been given the same. However, you must immediately contact a doctor if :
- Contractions begin
- If you do not feel any contractions after 6 hours of induction
If you’ve had no contractions after 6 hours, you may be offered another tablet or gel.
Side effects of induction of labor
According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) some of the side effects of induced labor are:
Among these induced births, when labor was started using drugs:
- Less than two-thirds of these women gave birth without further intervention
- Around 15% had to undergo instrumental (assisted) births (such as forceps or ventouse)
- 22% reported to have emergency caesarean sections
Induced labor is more painful than the normal labor starting on its own. Induced labor mostly results in an assisted delivery. However, there are certain situations when induced labor becomes essential. Consult your doctor if you have any apprehensions regarding the induced labor.
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