Inducing labor



In most cases the labor is spontaneous (labor is the process leading to the birth). But it may happen your doctor suggest you an induction of labor. This induction consists by inducing contractions in order to start the labor.
Your obstetrician might induce labor for medical reason (either for your health or your baby health).

There may be no medical reason to induce labor, just a decision after discussion with your doctor. In this case, we are talking about elective induction, convenience induction or planned induction. This can represent advantages for family, helping them to organize the birth of the baby.

There are no proven medical benefits to elective induction; your obstetrician will take final decision.

In Practice

Required conditions to induce labor are:

  • Pregnancy is over 37 weeks of gestation (8 and half month)
  • Favorable cervix, i.e. becoming soft (ripe), open (dilate) and thin (efface)

Once these conditions are met, labor process is not different from a natural one (time length, pain, epidural anesthesia, C-section possibility, baby health when birthed).

You will come to maternity the evening before the induction labor, or early in the morning, depending on availability of delivery units.
The most used method to induce labor is intravenous perfusion of Oxytocin, stimulating uterus contractions. The amniotic sac is artificially ruptured.
Sometimes cervix preparation may require the application of a gel to help cervix maturation (during 6h, 12h, 24h).

Last update: 10/2/2013