Pregnancy / Childbirth

Inducing labor - how is this done?

Inducing labor - how is this done?


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The date of delivery should be treated as approximate. Only 5% of pregnant women give birth on the exact day of the first visit. In addition, there is something else that counts in calculating the day of delivery: lack of information. It happens that the mother does not remember the exact day of the last menstrual period or before she got pregnant she had irregular cycles, then the date of delivery is calculated on the basis of an ultrasound examination, which is most reliable at the beginning of pregnancy. Over time, the indications from the ultrasound and the dates of the last menstrual period may vary by several days.

When does labor start?

In most women, labor begins spontaneously between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy. There are, however, some situations related to caring for the good of the mother or child, which determine the induction of labor using available methods: natural or pharmacological.

Natural ways to induce labor

There are many tips on what a woman should do in the last weeks of pregnancy to give birth. However, opinions about their effectiveness are divided.
The most common are:

  • warm bath
  • sexual relations which are supposed to stimulate the secretion of oxytocin, the hormone responsible for uterine contractions. The semen contains prostagandins that affect cervical sagging and cause uterine contractions. Masturbation with orgasm works similarly.
  • nipple stimulation - this method takes more time, but it also helps to release the oxycotin needed to initiate labor.
  • increased physical activity in the last week of pregnancy - cleaning floors, walking, walking up the stairs.
  • drinking castor oil - laxative, stimulates the digestive system. The method should be used after consulting a doctor,
  • adding to water during bathing sugar brew- which is supposed to stimulate the opening of the cervix (the method should also be consulted with a doctor).
  • drinking tea with raspberry leaves - also available in the form of tablets, although more popular in the form of infusion. The drink is considered distasteful, but many people say that it is also very effective.

When is childbirth induced pharmacologically?

Sometimes, delivery must be called. Not necessarily after the deadline, but also a few weeks before the planned solution. Special indications are considered by the doctor. The most common are:

  • the placenta has ceased to perform its function, which can be determined by determining the level of estriol in the urine,
  • mother suffers from gestosis, which may cause malnutrition of the child,
  • high maternal blood pressure
  • the mother suffers from diabetes, which resulted in faster growth of the child, preventing the newborn from passing through the birth canal
  • the fetal bladder has ruptured and the water was green or brown, suggesting that they were contaminated with tar or no cramps within 24 hours of bladder rupture,
  • no uterine contractions were observed after the rupture of the fetal bladder.
  • during the monitoring of the child's heart disorders were noted.

The most common ways to induce labor in a gynecologist or in a hospital

  • administration of prostaglandinswhich cause the cervix to open, the mucus to explode and cause uterine contractions. Prostaglandins are usually given as a gel or vaginally.
  • puncture of the fetal bladder (amniotomy) - the oldest way of inducing labor, but at risk of infection and severe labor pains. What to know: according to the World Health Organization, this method has no scientific justification. Meanwhile, in Poland, the procedure is performed very often and very quickly, already at the stage of opening the cervix by 3 cm. The result is strong, non-physiological contractions of the uterus, very unpleasant for the child being born, which can result in hypoxia. If the baby is not born 24 hours after puncture of the bladder, a caesarean section is performed.
  • drip administration of synthetic oxycotin - which causes cramps, but at the same time reduces the time of delivery.
  • cervical massage - manual compression of the cervix to stimulate it to open. During the massage, the lower pole of the fetal bladder detaches. The procedure is very painful. Performed by an experienced doctor (the least invasive method, most often used for pregnancies over 41 weeks).

Disadvantages of induced delivery

Inducing labor is often the case inevitableHowever, this solution has many disadvantages. First of all, the risk of terminating pregnancy by Caesarean section increases with it. It is often associated with the administration of oxytocin, which causes the contractions to appear they are not as rhythmic as in natural delivery and are definitely more painful. During induced delivery, an artificial puncture of the fetal bladder occurs, which deprives the child of natural protection and threatens the occurrence of infection.