Induction of labour
What is induction of labour?
Sometimes a choice is made to start or induce labour before it occurs naturally. This is known as ‘induction of labour’. It is a way of starting your labour artificially. Induction of labour is carried out in about one in five pregnancies.
Why might I need induction of labour?
It will be suggested to you if your doctor/midwife believes that there is a risk to you or your baby if the pregnancy continues. The most common reason for induction of labour is if your pregnancy goes seven days over your due date. While it is normal for pregnancy to continue for one week after the due date, after this time the risk in continuing the pregnancy slightly increases.
Other reasons for induction of labour include:
- Your baby is small or not growing properly
- You have raised blood pressure
- Several significant vaginal bleeds in pregnancy
- You have diabetes
- Waters breaking for more than 24 hours, after you are 37 weeks pregnant
- If you have been found to have Group B Strep in this pregnancy, and your waters have broken and you are at least 37 weeks pregnant
Where and when will I be admitted?
If you are low dependency you will be admitted to ward 19
If you are high dependency you will be admitted to the induction of labour suite on central delivery suite
Depending upon your individual circumstances you will be admitted approx 8am or 4pm. As part of your admission you will be guided onto the suite and an antenatal examination performed.
How is labour induced?
An induction is an attempt to start your labour artificially, and this may take a couple of days. It is only done when you are in hospital, so that we are able to monitor both you and your baby.
There are several ways in which your labour can be induced and these are as follows:
- Prostin vaginal tablets
- Breaking the waters (artificial rupture of membranes – ARM)
- Syntocinon drip
- Or a combination of all three.
A more in depth explanation of the process will take place when you are admitted or your community midwife or consultant will be able to answer any questions you may have.