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What You Should Know About Induced Labor

Induced labor is when procedures or medication are used to begin contractions in women who are pregnant. Doctors try to avoid it if possible. However, if natural birth is not possible due to certain complications, it may be needed. Here is what you should know about induced labor.

Reasons for Induced Labor

There are many reasons for inducing labor. These reasons include:

  • Your water breaking, but no contractions
  • You are two weeks past your due date, 42 weeks, without having any contractions
  • There is an infection in your uterus
  • You have high blood pressure or gestational diabetes
  • You do not have enough amniotic fluid
  • The placenta is not functioning properly
  • There are problems with the development of the baby
  • Mother has a history of rapid deliveries and/or lives far from a hospital

How to Induce Labor

One of the most common ways to induce labor is to use medication. The two medications available are prostaglandin and oxytocin. When this method is used, the mother needs to be monitored closely. A couple of other ways to induce labor are by stripping the membranes or breaking your water. However, these options are a lot less comfortable or even painful.

Risks of Induced Labor

woman with an IV in arm during labor

Although induced labor is done to avoid certain medical conditions, there are risks involved as well. One of the most likely risks is that the procedure simply will not work. When this happens, a woman is either sent home or cesarean delivery is required. An unavoidable risk is also more painful labor. Women who are induced are more likely to have an epidural because the contractions start more suddenly and with more strength.

Women are also at risk of low blood pressure, low sodium, or even seizures when prostaglandin or oxytocin are used to induce labor. Most of these risks involve the mother, however, the baby can be at risk as well. If the estimated due date was wrong, the baby can be born too early. This could potentially cause health problems for the pre-term baby like jaundice, problems breathing or eating, or even difficulty maintaining healthy body temperature.

A mother needs to make sure she also does not try ways to induce labor herself. Natural ways to induce labor like castor oil or herbal supplements can be harmful to the baby. Discuss everything with a medical professional beforehand to avoid problems. Learning what you should know about induced labor can feel a little overwhelming. However, the most important thing is the safety and health of the mother and baby. For a healthy pregnancy, prenatal vitamins are so vital. Liquid Health’s Prenatal Multi is a great way to get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs for a healthy pregnancy. The vitamin is even in liquid form for better absorption.