Induction of labor means that the doctor or midwife helps the person to start labor in some way. Most of the time it is better to follow the natural process, but there are exceptions. For example, your doctor may recommend this method because of a 2-week delay in delivery. Join us to learn more about the uses of induced labor and its benefits and risks.
What is induction of labor?
Induction of labor or induction is done by stimulating uterine contractions. By doing this, the contractions start before the spontaneous onset of labor to lead to a normal birth. There are many reasons for prescribing induced labor, the most important of which is concern for the health of the mother or baby.
One of the most important factors in diagnosing the success of induced labor is the softness and swelling of the cervix. Usually the benefits of this method outweigh the risks. If you are pregnant, knowing the causes and how to induce labor can prepare you better.
Reasons for induction of labor
To determine if induction is necessary, your doctor or midwife will look at a number of factors, including:
- Maternal health;
- Baby health;
- Fetal age of the child;
- Baby size and weight;
- The position of the baby in the womb;
- Conditions of the uterus.
The reasons for using this method are:
- Late delivery: If 2 weeks have passed since the delivery, but the mother has not yet given birth.
- Rupture of the amniotic sac: If the amniotic sac is torn but labor has not yet begun.
- Uterine infection: If the uterus is infected.
- Limited fetal growth: If the baby weighs an estimated 10% less than the fetal age.
- Amniotic fluid deficiency: If there is not enough amniotic fluid around the fetus.
- Gestational Diabetes: If the mother has this type of diabetes during pregnancy.
- Blood pressure disorders during pregnancy: For example, preeclampsia, which is characterized by high blood pressure and damage to internal organs; High blood pressure that existed before pregnancy or started before the 20th week of pregnancy; high blood pressure that started after the 20th week of pregnancy.
- Pair rupture: If the placenta is completely or incompletely removed from the inner wall of the uterus.
- Some diseases: For example, kidney disease or obesity.
Risks of induction of labor
Induced labor has risks, including:
1. Unsuccessful induction
About 75% of mothers who give birth for the first time can have a successful induced delivery. This means that about 25% of mothers who usually begin labor with an unprepared cervix may need a cesarean section. The doctor explains the possibility of needing a cesarean to the mother.
۲. Low heart rate
Medications prescribed to initiate labor, such as oxytocin or prostaglandins, may cause abnormal or excessive uterine contractions that can reduce the baby’s oxygen supply and heart rate.
Some methods of inducing labor, such as rupturing the amniotic sac, can increase the risk of infection for both mother and baby. Prolonged rupture of the bladder is directly related to an increased risk of infection.
4. Rupture of the uterus
In this rare but serious complication, the uterine wall ruptures according to a cesarean section or previous uterine surgery. Uterine rupture is very unlikely to occur in someone who has not had uterine surgery in the past. An emergency cesarean section is needed to prevent the fatal consequences of this complication. It may even be necessary for the doctor to remove the uterus.
5. Postpartum hemorrhage
In induced labor, the risk increases that the walls of the uterus do not contract properly after delivery. This can lead to severe postpartum hemorrhage.
Contraindications to induction of labor
Your doctor may prevent you from having an induced birth for the following reasons:
- The mother has had a routine cesarean section or uterine surgery;
- The placenta is blocked;
- The baby’s head is not toward the cervix or is on its side;
- The mother has an active genital herpes infection;
- The umbilical cord has entered the vagina before delivery.
Methods of induction of labor
There are several ways to speed up labor. It is best to consult your doctor and ask for a solution. Medical procedures can induce labor. Of course, there are natural methods that can lead to induced labor. It is important to consult your doctor or midwife before performing any of the procedures.
1. Use of medication
There are two types of drugs used to induce labor:
- Prostaglandins soften and prepare the cervix for labor. This medicine has both oral and vaginal suppositories.
- Pitocin causes uterine contractions to begin. It is an injectable drug, but it requires the cervix to be ready for delivery to work.
۲. Separate the water bag
Detaching or rupturing the amniotic sac is also a method of induction of labor. The doctor must do these methods. The doctor removes the amniotic fluid sac from the cervix with his fingers and uses a small plastic hook to rupture the amniotic sac.
After this, the baby moves to the top of the cervix to prepare for coming out. Delivery may begin after a few hours or even days. Detaching the water bag is a safe task. However, experts disagree on its effectiveness.
3. Natural methods
None of the natural methods performed without the intervention of a physician have been scientifically proven. A doctor or midwife should be consulted before induction of a normal delivery.
- One of the best ways to induce a normal birth is to walk. The mother’s gravity and movement help the baby move to the right position. Even if walking does not speed up labor, it has many benefits.
- Having sex triggers the release of the hormone prostaglandins, which increases uterine contractions. It can also irritate the uterus and may be as effective as removing the bladder.
- Exercise can be effective for better delivery. There is no evidence that activity causes labor, but it does have many benefits. Exercise can reduce the risk of cesarean section and gestational diabetes. For most mothers, exercising during pregnancy is not a problem. However, it is best to tell your doctor before you start exercising.
Selective delivery request
Selective delivery means starting labor for the convenience of a pregnant woman who does not need medical intervention for delivery. This is done for people who live far from the hospital or maternity ward or have a history of miscarriage. With elective delivery, these people can easily perform their delivery under the supervision of medical staff.
What happens after induction of labor?
Most of the time, induction of labor leads to successful natural childbirth. If this fails, another induction procedure or cesarean section may be needed.
If the person has a successful normal delivery, it will not affect future deliveries. If the induction leads to a cesarean section, the doctor must decide whether to use a natural method for the next delivery or a cesarean section.
How does induced labor feel?
It depends on the doctor’s method of induction of labor. Detaching the water bag can make you feel uncomfortable and stuffy. If the doctor ruptures the amniotic sac, weak traction is felt and then warm amniotic fluid is expelled from the uterus.
Using medication to do this can cause faster and stronger contractions. This will cause more pain during labor. People who are induced to give birth need more spinal anesthesia.
Induction means stimulating natural childbirth at the right time and can be necessary or even life-saving for some mothers. Although natural childbirth is the most ideal option, sometimes a doctor’s intervention is necessary. In this case, it is better to add to your information and be prepared for your doctor’s decisions in this regard.