Health Alert: Inducing Labor and Medical Reasons it is Necessary

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Are You Planning on Natural Childbirth?

Many mothers-to-be plan on a natural childbirth, with or without the use medications for pain relief, so learning that they need to be induced can be frightening or confusing. In some cases, medical intervention is needed immediately, to induce labor due to a health risk to the mother or the unborn child.

What is artificial labor induction?

Artifical labor induction is a procedure that causes a woman’s body to begin having contractions and stimulates labor. Inducing labor can be achieved through a few different approaches, including:

Stripping of the Membranes: The physician will place a gloved finger beyond the cervix and attempt to rotate his or her finger in a circular motion. This separates the amniotic sac from the uterine wall. This procedure does not actually cause labor; however, it may stimulate contractions, which could result in labor starting.

Cervical Ripening: During this procedure, the physician will either apply synthetic prostaglandins to the cervix or give the woman pills to take orally. Mechanical dilators may also be used to open the cervix.

Breaking the Amniotic Sac: This procedure may be referred to as “rupturing the membranes” or “breaking the water.” The physician places a long, thin, sterile hook into the vagina and creates a small hole in the amniotic sac to release the amniotic fluid. This procedure is usually performed on women who are experiencing a slow or stalled labor or when the cervix is already thinned and dilated and the baby’s head is low.

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