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My Pregnancy

Labor Induction 

First Trimester | Second Trimester | Third Trimester | Postpartum 

Labor induction is the use of medication or other methods to bring on (induce) labor. Labor is induced to stimulate contractions of the womb (uterus) in an effort to have a vaginal birth. Inductions of labor may be recommended if the health of the mother or baby are at risk. It is the goal to not do inductions before full development of the baby by 39 weeks if possible.
 
To prepare for labor and delivery the cervix begins to soften (ripen), thin, and open. These changes usually start a few weeks before labor. To support the induction, your doctor may consider softening or ripening the cervix as part of the induction process. Labor is then stimulated with medication or at times medical devices that help move the process toward a safe vaginal delivery.
 
Your doctor will discuss the options and methods that best fit your individual circumstances and needs and that will achieve the safest success for a vaginal delivery.
 
The risks of an induction are rare and include: 
  • Overstimulation of the uterus
  • Infections in the mother or baby
  • Damage to the uterus
  • Increase risk of cesarean section
 
Inductions may not always be successful. A failed attempt at induction may mean that you will need to try another attempt or a cesarean delivery.  First time mothers carry a higher risk of cesarean delivery especially when the cervix has not yet softened.
 
You and your doctor will discuss the different aspects of inducing labor when and if the circumstances become necessary for the safety of your baby and your pregnancy.