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 or 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. The risks and benefits of induction of labour can be discussed with your midwife or doctor.
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
- If you have been found to have Group B Strep in this pregnancy, and your waters have broken
If there are any concerns a doctor will discuss these with you. Induction should only be performed if there are any concerns for you or your baby.
Where and when will I be admitted?
If you are low dependency you will be admitted to Marton Suite if it is not your first pregnancy or you may have an out patient induction of labour if it is your first pregnancy.
If you are high dependency you will be admitted to the induction of labour suite on Central Delivery Suite.
How is labour induced?
An induction is an attempt to start your labour artificially, and this may take a couple of days.
There are several ways in which your labour can be induced and these are as follows:
- Prostin vaginal tablets
- Propess vaginal pessary
- Breaking the waters (artificial rupture of membranes – ARM)
- Syntocinon drip
- Or a combination of all of the above.
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.