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The Best Labour Inducing Strategies
Sometimes there are situations when Mother Nature refuses to take the initiative in delivering your baby. Your body shows no indications of prompting labour and thus medical intervention may be necessary to induce labour.
There are several reasons for inducing labour.If the mother’s water has broken and there are no signs of pains then the doctors may consider the possibility of inducing labour.
Tests may suggest that your uterus is no longer an optimal place for the baby to survive because of low amniotic fluid or fetal distress or detachment of the placenta.
In such cases it becomes necessary to kick start labour. Then there are cases of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia which necessitate labour induction. There are several ways in which labour may be induced. Though a long drawn out process, it generally works.
Softening The Cervix
The cervix has to be ripe and soft for labour to begin. Only if it is tender, will it efface and dilate. A hard cervix needs to be prepped up. For this, the doctor will do an internal exam and administer a gel called prostaglandin E vaginally. This he will directly apply around the cervix or give it to you in the form of a suppository. It’s a relatively painless procedure.
Sometimes a syringe may also be used to deposit the gel close to your cervix. A few hours later your cervix will be checked for effacement and dilation. If it has not begun to efface,a second round of prostaglandin may be administered. The gel is quite strong and triggers contractions soon after.
In case the cervix is ripe but contractions have not yet begun, the induction procedure continues. Some hospitals are known to use balloons and vaginal dilators to dilate the cervix but the efficacy of this procedure is at best debatable.
Rupturing The Membranes
In case you water has not broken the physician may do an internal exam and cut the water membranes by swiping his finger across it. This way the water comes out and prostaglandin is automatically released by the mother’s body. Labour pains can then commence.
If for some reason, the prostaglandin gel or the artificial rupturing of membranes has not worked, the doctor may begin to intravenously give Pitocin which is a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin to begin labour contractions.
Oxytocin is produced by the body during pregnancy and plays a crucial role in starting labour. A medicine called misoprostol may also be administered vaginally to ripen the cervix. It also tends to reduce the dosage required of synthetic oxytocin.
Monitoring The Baby
Once labour induction has started, the baby will be continuously monitored to see how he is faring. If 48 hours lapse and there is still no sign of labour, the doctor may consider the possibility of doing a c-section especially if the baby’s life is in jeopardy.
It is also very important to monitor the doses of medicine. An overdose may trigger strong contractions that can be particularly stressful for the mother. Once contractions have started, the IV is stopped and labour now progresses as a normal labour.