What Every Mom Should Know About Induced Labor

When you hear the word induction, you can’t help but think of a medical procedure that forces you to deliver your baby.

That in itself gives you a very bad image. Not to mention the information you got from articles online or friends saying the process uses a certain kind of medicine that can have bad and even fatal effects on your baby.

Now, that is enough to stop us in our tracks.

But before we completely dismiss the idea of having induced labor, let’s take a pause first and examine the facts. And I want us to start with this video made by St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

We now know that there is a reason behind an induction of labor and it’s not solely to disrupt a natural delivery process. Sometimes you just really need it. And considering you don’t know what will exactly happen on the big day, it is best that you are informed.

What is induced labor?

Mayo Clinic describes labor induction as “the stimulation of uterine contractions during pregnancy before labor begins on its own to achieve a vaginal birth”.

Labor induction process

As what we have seen in the video above, there are several ways to induce labor. The most common one is by using pitocin. Because of its possible side effects on the mother and/or baby, pitocin induction has received a lot of negative reactions.

However, in my opinion, just like any other drug, it can have adverse effects only not administered properly. It’s not totally in the hands of your doctor though. You can help avoid these negative effects by making yourself aware of the important things about pitocin and the other methods used in inducing labor.

When do I need it?

There are a lot of possible instances where induction of labor is necessary. One is if there’s a medical condition involved that prevents you from safely delivering your child. Another reason is if there’s no contractions 24 to 48 hours after your water broke or your labor stalls for a longer time, distressing the baby. In these cases, you may need an induction. To know more about the possible scenarios during childbirth, ask your doctor about it.

Can I induce my own labor?

There are a number of natural ways to induce labor. For instance, there are exercises that serve that purpose. To learn how, check out this video by Diary of a Fit Mommy.

Acupuncture and acupressure are also believed to start labor. In many Asian countries, these methods have been used for a long time. Aside from inducing labor, they are also effective in managing pains and aches caused by pregnancy. Although there’s not enough scientific evidence that links these two methods to inducing labor, a study showed that it could very well reduce the likelihood of having to undergo medical induction.

Another natural way to induce labor is through sex. This is another method that is not backed by research but experts suspect that it might just do the trick. Prostaglandins, substances that are similar to the ones used in a medical induction, are produced during sex. As a result, your cervix will be stimulated enough to develop contractions.

But you must remember that before trying out any of these methods, you should consult your doctor.

What are the induced labor risks?

Among the risks of an induced labor are infection, developmental problems in your baby, complications during the procedure, worse pain, and higher risk of undergoing a C-section.

When should I avoid it?

Among the possible scenarios where you should avoid it is when your baby is in a transverse position. Meaning instead of coming head first, your baby is coming out feet first. Another one is if you’ve been through a uterine surgical procedure. Your doctor will tell you whether or not it’s safe for you to undergo the process.

An induced labor is a very important medical procedure every upcoming mother should be aware of. Even if all the tests indicate that you’ll be having a normal delivery, it’s still best that you’re informed. You just never know what’s going to happen.


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