What does it mean to induce labor? This is the question which comes in all the minds of first time moms to be.
If your labor does not begin on its own, then your doctor uses the medications or some other techniques to induce the contractions. This process is known as inducing labor.
The doctor uses some of the same techniques to enhance or accelerate the labor process if it stops for any reasons.
According to the experts, they confirm that more than one in five births is induced in US.
Main reasons to induce labor:
Your health care provider will suggest the induction when the complications of waiting for labor to begin on its own are greater than the complications of the methods used to get your labor going. Situations to induce labor are:
- When breaking of water takes place and your labor doesn’t begin on its own. During these cases, you will be induced to lessen the risk of infection to the uterus and also to your baby[premature rupture of membranes].
- You will be induced if you have experienced the condition of pre eclampsia. This is a serious condition that can harm your health and restricts the blood flow to your baby.
- When the tests confirm that the placenta is not working properly, your baby is not flourishing, you have insufficient amniotic fluid or your baby is not growing properly.
- If you are suffering from acute or chronic illness like, diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney disease. These conditions can greatly affect the health of you and your baby.
- Previously, if you had a full term still birth.
- Still you are pregnant with one or two weeks past your delivery due date. Most of the doctors do not allow you to wait longer than that to give birth. This condition can keep you and your baby at a greater risk of various problems. For instance, if the placenta becomes less effective in supplying the essential nutrients to your baby, it raises the risk of a stillbirth or serious complications for your newborn.
- There is an infection inside your uterus called as chorioamnionitis.
- If your amniotic sac has ruptured but the labor has not started within 24-48 hours.
Techniques used to induce the labor:
Artificial rupture of the membranes to induce labor: When the rupturing or breaking of the amniotic sac takes place, a hormone called prostaglandin produces in high levels and increases the contractions.
Sometimes, the health care provider suggests artificial rupturing of the membranes. A plastic, sterile and thin hook is brushed against the membranes just inside your cervix. Your baby’s head will shift down against the cervix. Usually, this causes the contractions to become stronger.
Medications to induce labor: Medications like oxytocin and prostaglandins are used to induce labor. Oxytocin is the naturally producing hormone in your body to stimulate the contractions. Syntocinon and Pitocin are the sources of oxytocin to stimulate the contractions.
Also, suppositories are inserted into your vagina to make the uterus go into the labor. The main advantage of this method is you can freely move around the labor room.
Natural method to induce labor: The natural method to induce labor is nipple stimulation. This method can be done manually or with an electric breastfeeding pump.