June 17, 2021
Produced by Marilyn Smith-The # 1 midwife
Did you know that the benefits of labor induction typically outweigh the risks? If you’re pregnant, understanding why and how labor induction is done can help you prepare. You can review our disclaimer and policies here.
Let me take you on a journey to explore this exciting topic to give you a chance to make informed choices.
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The aim of this post: To give you a step by step approach to preparing for the birth of your baby.
This blog post will include the following subtopics:
- What is induction of labor?
- How long does it take?
- Are there different methods?
- What are the risks involved?
- How to prepare for an induction?
Hello mamas and dads to be! I know some of you out there are going to be induced by your health care provider for different reasons. Are you a bit anxious that your care provider has told you that ? I am sure many of you are . I have never had to have induction with any of my four pregnancies, but I surely have nursed m
The aim of this post: To give you a step by step approach to preparing for the birth of your baby.
Many women if not all of them, who had the experience have found themselves becoming anxious as the day approaches. Ladies this is normal and human; especially if it is your first. Ladies and gentlemen I am here today to relieve all of your worries about getting an induction of labor. Preparation is key. As a midwife I had the awesome privilege of calming so many of my clients down.
Lets take this one step at a time. First of all I will clarify what an induction is and also give you everything you need to know about this topic and then we will discuss what you need to do to prepare.
What on earth is an induction of labor?
The purpose of labor induction, also known as going into labor, it is to initiate uterine contractions before natural labor begins in order to achieve a successful vaginal delivery. (Paid link here for good pregnancy books to read).
At each prenatal checkup, a healthcare expert will assess your health and that of your baby. Examining your baby’s gestational age, size, weight, and location in your uterus are all part of this process.
Later consultations may entail examining your cervix and assessing the entire picture to see if you or the baby are at risk and a labor induction is required. Your care provider will need to assess your cervix for its softness to determine if it is ripe enough. Did you know there are some women who due dates pass them by with no signs of labor in view? A decision is then made to induce these persons.
Your cervix will be evaluated on the following:
- Consistency (firmness)
- Dilation (openness)
- Effacement (thickness)
- Position (which way is it angled)
- Station (how low the baby’s head is in the pelvis)
OTHER REASONS FOR INDUCTION OF LABOR:
- Expected date of delivery has passed
- Gestational diabetes.
- Chorioamnionitis (an infection in the uterus).
- Baby is growing too slowly.
- Oligohydramnios (low or leaking amniotic fluid).
- Placental obstruction or abruption.
- Broken water, but no contractions.
- History of speedy, short deliveries
- Ay chronic condition like high blood pressure, and preeclampsia
Lets take a look at what this amazing study has found:
Women take longer to give birth today than did women 50 years ago, according to an analysis of nearly 140,000 deliveries conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. The researchers could not identify all of the factors that accounted for the increase, but concluded that the change is likely due to changes in delivery room practice.
How long will it take?
Many of my clients are usually concerned with how long labor induction will take. Mamas I cannot give you a standard answer because every woman ‘s body is different with responding . Just like no labor is exactly the same and if this is your first just know that it could take longer.
Once the doctor inserts the small tablet, you can immediately begin to feel the cramps while some persons go longer for a day or two. After 2 -3 days if your cervix is not softened enough, you will end up with a C-Section. I hope this is not your plight . I am wishing for you to have the safest time ever! I am on your side mama.(Paid link here for pregnancy clothing for women).
Are you ok so far mama? I sure hope you are!!
Now lets learn about the interesting and different methods of induction
There are basically 5 types of induction. I will describe them below:
- Breaking the bag of waters using an amino hook in hospital or at home for home births. This procedure is very common in hospitals if your cervix is 3 or more centimeters dilated or open. It is is not usually painful and is similar to a vaginal exam. Breaking the amniotic sack also necessitates having a baby within a specified time frame, which varies depending on the conditions and the beliefs of your practitioner. It is preferable to combine amniotomy with other induction techniques.
- Pitocin induction: This is a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin, which is produced by the body. It’s administered through an IV line and is used to induce contractions. The amount of Pitocin used will be determined by how well your body responds to it. The dosage is usually raised every 10-30 minutes until a healthy contraction pattern is established. This is sometimes done in conjunction with shattering the water bag.
It is better controlled because the medicine can be stopped by cutting off the IV line, it’s a little easier to control than, say, breaking the water. However, this does not guarantee that you will deliver your baby vaginally. It can be turned off or turned off completely to allow mum to relax or even go home. Contrarywise, there are some negative effects of Pitocin.
It’s possible that it won’t produce contractions. It’s possible that you’ll have too many contractions or they’ll last too long.
For reasons of convenience or timing. Because of the hazards, the FDA determined that this medicine should not be used for inductions for the sake of convenience or timing.
3. Suppository and Prostaglandin inserts
These are most commonly utilized when the cervix is unfavorable, which means it is less than 3 centimeters dilated, hard, posterior, not effaced, barely effaced, or any combination of the above. Bishop’s Score will help your practitioner decide if this is the ideal location to begin. This can be done on its own, or it’s usually done 12 hours or more before Pitocin is used. They are inserted during a vaginal exam.
One of the things with this procedure is it takes longer to enter active labor, and if your institution requires you to stay in the hospital during the waiting time, it might be nerve-wracking. Mom becomes sick or suffers headaches from time to time. 6 This isn’t as well-controlled as Pitocin, but it’s a lot gentler. Some prostaglandins now have strings attached to them, allowing them to be removed if harmful contractions occur.
4. Misoprostol Insertion
This is a tablet that can be either orally or applied directly to the cervix. It’s more commonly employed when the cervix isn’t in good shape. One of the good things about this type is the IV line is not attached. It can be used on its own. The less probable the induction will “fail,” the better your cervix is. It’s not nearly as messy as suppositories can be. It does not obligate you to have the child.
TAKE NOTE MAMA: Your care provider will allow you to pass your urine or eat before insertion. After it is inserted you will be given instructions not to get up out of bed for one hour to allow the tablet to properly absorb. I have seen many tablets dropped out because the clients ended up going to use the bathroom before an hour. So make sure you follow this instruction so you would not have to have a possible reinsertion.
The thing about this one is pitocin or other methods may be required in addition. It has the potential to hasten labor. This is no longer considered a viable strategy for mothers undergoing VBAC; speak with your practitioner about it.
5. Home births
There are several methods for inducing labor at home. They range from nipple stimulation and intercourse to taking herbs and substances like castor oil eating them. Always speak with your doctor about any method you prefer. Here are some of the common methods used for home births:
- Certain foods (i.e. spicy foods, oily salads)
- Bumpy car rides
- Strenuous activity
- Castor oil
- Certain herbs and homeopathics (black and blue cohosh, Caulophyllum
What are the risks involved?
Mamas to be just like everything in life there are risks when it comes to inductions. Here are some of them I will share with you:
- Contractions may become stronger, more painful, and more frequent.
- According to a 2017 study Trusted Source, you may have a higher risk of postpartum depression.
- You may require a cesarean delivery due to a failed induction (this comes with its own list of concerns, including a longer recovery time).
- Infection. Certain methods of induction, such as rupturing membranes, pose an increased risk for infection in both mom and baby.
- Uterine rupture. This is especially true for women who have had a cesarean delivery before or another uterine surgery.
- Complications with fetal heart rate. Too many contractions can lead to negative changes in the baby’s heart rate.
- Fetal death.
Throughout the induction process, your healthcare provider, doctor, or midwife will monitor you and your baby to determine whether or not an assisted vaginal delivery or cesarean delivery is necessary.
Now that you have been educated about inductions lets examine what else you have to do to prepare for it:
Preparing for the Labor Induction :
- Have an open mind and stay positive in your thinking.
- Trust God to help you overcome anxiety and worry.
- Pack everything you will need for the hospital in advance. This includes your toiletries, snacks for afterwards, clothing for you and baby.
- Ask all the questions you need to ask. Here some of the most important ones:
- Why do I need an induction?
- What will the doctor or midwife do if the induction method chosen fails?
When will you be released home and when will your induction be rescheduled?
Will your doctor or midwife be present throughout the procedure?
- Will you be able to use the restroom if the operation takes a long time?
- Do you have any previous medical conditions or concerns that may affect your induction?
- How many times has your doctor or midwife performed this procedure?
- Will you be able to move around?
- What are the risks and benefits of each induction procedure being considered?
- Will it require constant or occasional monitoring?
- Will it hurt? What are your options for pain relief?
- What are the indicators that you’d be a good fit for induction?
What types of inductions are being considered by your healthcare provider?
When do you think you’ll be finished? (Make sure the induction is scheduled for after the 39th week of pregnancy.)
- What is your cervix’s current state?
- What is the position of the baby?
5. Find out where will the induction will take place.
6. Inquire if you can have a support person in.
7. You definitely would want to take your birth plan.
8. Find out from your care giver if you can eat before the induction. In the hospital where I worked our patients would come in the day before to begin the induction in the mornings. Some of the doctors would allow them to eat before, while others would not.
9. Be prepared for a possible intravenous infusion.
This is usually given with pitocin and some of the above methods.
10.Pray always knowing that God will deliver you through this journey.
I did my best to help you prepare for a labor induction. It is truly my greatest joy to know that you are now prepared for the days ahead. Keep God at the center of everything. As you can see the induction of labor has many different forms. I have given you the questions you need to ask without any fear. Thank you for stopping by today and do come again. If you would like to comment, or ask a question feel free to do so. Also, if you have a topic you would like for me to discuss, mention it also in the comments. (Paid link here for baby essentials).
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