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Induced Labour: When It Is Done And All You Need To Know

The period of pregnancy is different for every woman. To make comparisons among them is not only practically futile but also wrong. It is not an unusual fact to know that pregnancy for each woman depends on her menstrual cycle. Hence, how painful, long or complicated it will be is all dependent on the woman’s genetic functionality, that is, her menstrual cycle. Although, there is nothing to fret about if you’re experiencing complexity in the process. With the progress in medical sciences, more and more problems are being met with their probable solutions, so all you need to do is a little research, and make sure you consult your gynecologist or obstetrician each time you feel something’s wrong.

Speaking of complications and intricacies, a common problem that mothers have begun to experience is the dilemma of choosing between natural and induced labour due to multiple reasons that are both medical and personal.

Read on to understand why mothers are willing to risk the normalcy of their childbirth to go for induced labour.

1. “I want this special date to be my child’s birthday!”

Yes, ladies, nothing is impossible anymore. Science has made it all available. You can choose when to have your child, though it is preferred not to induce labour if your chances of normal childbirth are higher. However, it’s still your choice by at the end of the day.

2. “Unavailability of doctors”

It isn’t a problem if the help itself is unavailable. The gynecologist can choose to deliver the baby as per the schedule (only in cases of emergencies).

3. “My husband has a meeting next week”

Yes, you heard it right. Work has substituted other familial priorities now. So much so that the couple doesn’t mind inducing labour to control the birthing.

Incredible, isn’t it? Who would’ve thought one could control their pregnancy. But it’s also not as easy as it sounds. Induced labour can also be an addition to your set of existing complications. So, it is advised to not interfere with the natural path your child is choosing to enter the world.

Below are the medical details related to induced labour to help you choose your option wisely.

We’ll start with how induced labour works...

Induced labour is artificially stimulated labour and is chosen as an option mostly when you are overdue, which means they’ve crossed your estimated due dates (EDD). The EDDs are around 40 weeks from when you conceive. It is usually not advisable to opt for early delivery and is better if you wait for at least 5 weeks before your EDD to come to a decision to induce labour. This is because your child is still developing and has not grown up to the required size physically. This completion of development only takes place between 38-40 weeks and it is best if you respect the time of nature.

It is also suggested if you’re diabetic, as the risk of the child growing larger than required is avoided. It is also an option when it comes to other diseases.

Induced labour is about releasing artificial oxytocin, a hormone that makes your cervix dilate, resulting in contractions. In the case of a normal childbirth, the natural oxytocin that is generated by your body ensures there is enough time between two consecutive contractions. It also ensures the release of endorphins, a natural pain killer your brain supplies to the body so you can last through the whole process.  

When labour is induced, the artificial oxytocin that is released into the body is without the endorphin, for unlike the natural hormone, it doesn’t signal the brain for endorphin. Hence, the pain is far more in this case.

The contractions in induced labour are stronger and more frequent. Also, there are a lot of risks in this case such as:

The need for a C-section

a. Premature birth
b. Low heart rate
c. Infection
d. Umbilical cord problems
e. Uterine rupture
f. Bleeding after delivery

The following are the different ways in which you can induce labour.

1. Membrane sweep (ARM) 

This is the separation of sacs containing amniotic fluids from the cervix, which induce contractions. Scary as it sounds, it is a little painful, but also very effective.

2. Prostaglandin

It is a hormone that makes your belly or cervix mature enough to take on the labour process. In the case of induced labour, it is inserted in the mother’s vagina via a tablet or gel. It may make you nauseous or it may not affect you at all if you’re lucky. But it helps!

3. Home remedies

Some people say having sex can induce labour too. But in case the water has broken already, it may cause infection. Things like castor oil and spicy food work too, but chances are always dicey and you can’t depend on them 100 percent.

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