What are the best labor induction options?

Most women go into labor naturally, without the need for any medical interference. However, in some cases, your healthcare provider might need to induce labor. What are the best labor induction options? And what are their risks? Read on to find out.

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Jun 18th 2023
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When is inducing labor necessary?  

The leading reason why a doctor induces labor is to protect the mom or the fetus or both. Here are the main cases where labor induction is needed:

  • When you go over 41 weeks of pregnancy, the placenta stops being as efficient as before, hence the risk of the fetus not getting enough Oxygen or nutrients, so labor is induced.
  • If the water breaks but there are no contractions.
  • The decline in the amniotic fluid around the baby.
  • If the fetus stops growing.
  • Placental abruption.
  • When labor is not progressing or is progressing slowly to the next stage.
  • A uterine infection.
  • Having a pregnancy complication such as gestational diabetes or preeclampsia.
  • Previous labor complications.

When is labor induction done?

The time labor is induced depends entirely on the reason behind the induction. In most cases, induction takes place after the 39th week of pregnancy. And in certain cases, if there isn’t any danger to the fetus, the doctor may induce labor anytime between the 37th and the 39th week.

labor induction options

Sweep the membranes of the amniotic sac

This technique involves the doctor inserting her gloved finger to gently sweep the membranes. This leads to stimulating the Prostaglandins that help soften the cervix and the start of labor.

Rupturing the membrane

The doctor breaks the amniotic sac with a small incision to induce labor.

The balloon method

A medical balloon is inserted into the cervix, then filled with a Saline solution that softens and dilates the cervix.

Medication

That is given either through IV or as a vaginal suppository. The most popular is Pitocin, a synthetic form of Oxytocin; another type of medicine is the Prostaglandins mentioned earlier.

When does labor start after induction?

The start and duration of labor are different from one woman to another, exactly as natural births are different for different women. It can last from 5 to 24 hours.

Risks of labor induction

Usually, the doctor doesn’t use these methods unless necessary, and usually, the benefits outnumber the risks, which are:

  • Infections.
  • Fetal heart rate acceleration.
  • Bleeding.
  • A ruptured uterus.
  • An increased chance of a c-section.

Inducing labor naturally

There are some positive experiences with natural labor induction methods, that are yet to be backed by medical studies, such as:

  • Exercise as allowed by the OBGYN.
  • Walking.
  • Eating spicy food.
  • Consuming castor oil.
  • Eating dates.
  • Warm baths.
  • Drinking cinnamon tea.
  • Consuming Sage tea.
  • Having berries leaves tea.
  • Intercourse, as it stimulates oxytocin.
  • Nipple massaging is another way to produce oxytocin.

 

Check out 13 Signs of labor you never heard of before

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