Labor induction is the process of stimulating uterine contractions to achieve a vaginal birth before your body begins labor on its own. There are many reasons why your obstetrician may suggest artificial labor induction, including health concerns for you and your baby.
Understanding labor induction and the reasons behind it can be confusing at first, but it is very important. This is why, before saying yes to labor induction, you should ask your obstetrician questions about it. Here are some questions to get you started.
WHY DO I NEED LABOR INDUCTION?
This is the very first and most important question that may come to your mind when you hear the suggestion of inducing labor from your obstetrician.
Before jumping to the conclusion that you or your baby’s health is at risk or that you have a complication, ask your obstetrician about your need for labor induction. Your obstetrician may suggest labor induction for many reasons, including:
- Approaching two weeks beyond the due date without any sign of natural contractions
- Water has broken, but there are no uterine contractions
- High blood pressure or gestational diabetes
- Infection in uterus or chorioamnionitis
- Not having enough amniotic fluid
- Slow growth of the baby
- Placental abruption — placenta has peeled away from the uterus’s inner wall before delivery
CAN I TRIGGER LABOR ON MY OWN?
There is no foolproof trick to inducing labor on your own. While you may have heard some home remedies could work, such as walking, having sex, stimulating the nipples, etc., there is no assurity these methods will work. Since these methods are not scientifically guarenteed, your obestriciaan may not prefer them over inducing labor at the hospital.
ARE THERE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH LABOR INDUCTION?
Obstetricians do not suggest labor induction to everyone, especially those who have had c-sections or major uterine surgery in the past. Inducing labor comes with various risks, including:
- Failed induction
- Low heart rate
- Increased chances of infection
- Uterine rupture
- Bleeding after delivery
- Increased need for pain medications
- A more extended stay at the hospital
- Increased chances of complications during delivery
HOW IS LABOR INDUCED?
Even though there are various ways of inducing labor, your obstetrician will suggest only the most suitable one for you because not all methods work for everyone. For example, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) does not recommend using misoprostol for those who previously had c-sections. This is because using misoprostol in such patients can rupture the uterine.
Most commonly suggested labor induction methods by obstetricians include:
- Using hormones such as prostaglandins
- Stripping the membrane
- Medications such as oxytocin
- Mechanical dilation with a balloon catheter
OTHER QUESTIONS TO ASK
Some other questions to ask your obstetrician include:
- How will labor induction change my birth plans?
- What is the percentage of labor induction in your practice?
- Is there any alternative for labor induction?
- How long does inducing labor take?
- How can I be prepared for labor induction?
OBSTETRICIANS AT WOOSTER COMMUNITY HOSPITAL
If you are pregnant and looking for comprehensive maternity care, look no further than Wooster Community Hospital. Our highly qualified and skilled obstetricians can offer you personalized care for your needs. At Wooster Community Hospital, our obstetricians can treat complications during labor and delivery and provide level II maternity services.
If you have any questions about our obstetricians or maternity services, or want to schedule an appointment, call us at (330) 263-8144. We look forward to serving you!