Inducing Labor

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Inducing Labor

Inducing Labor

Sometimes, you doctor might decide to induce labor if you are past your due date without any signs of labor. Labor is also induced if there is any concern about your or baby’s health. This means your doctor uses medicines and other methods to stimulate contractions and start the process of labor.

The following are some specific reasons why labor might be induced:

  • A woman’s water has broken (ruptured membranes), but labor has not begun on its own
  • Infection inside the uterus
  • Baby is growing too slowly
  • Complications that arise when the mother’s Rh factor is negative and her unborn baby’s is positive
  • Not enough amniotic fluid
  • Complications, such as high blood pressure or preeclampsia
  • Health problems in the mother, such as kidney disease or diabetes

Elective Labor Induction

It has become common in recent years to have elective labor induction.  Many pregnant women are electing to have induced labor at term for various non-medical reasons.

Some doctors may also suggest elective labor induction due to a woman’s discomfort, scheduling issues, or concern that waiting may lead to complications. Although doctors usually assess the risk of C-section and the risk of low birth weight before inducing labor, he benefits and risks of elective induction are not well understood. However, elective induction at term (not before 39 weeks) does not appear to affect the health of the baby.

If your doctor suggests inducing labor, talk to your doctor about the possible risks and benefits for you and your baby, such as the risk of C-section and risk of low birth weight. This is to make sure the benefits of inducing labor outweigh the risks of induction and the risks of continuing the pregnancy.

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