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.
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 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.
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.
The doctor breaks the amniotic sac with a small incision to induce labor.
A medical balloon is inserted into the cervix, then filled with a Saline solution that softens and dilates the cervix.
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.
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.
Usually, the doctor doesn’t use these methods unless necessary, and usually, the benefits outnumber the risks, which are:
There are some positive experiences with natural labor induction methods, that are yet to be backed by medical studies, such as: