For many years, labor induction was very popular among expectant mothers and their physicians. Once a woman was considered “full term,” many doctors would allow patients to choose to be induced. Many women wanted to choose a day for delivery that was convenient, while some women were just tired of being pregnant and wanted to give birth as soon as possible. Undergoing labor induction is never something that should be approached casually. Giving birth is a miraculous event that brings one living being into the world through another living being. There are significant risks to stimulating a delivery before it naturally occurs, and it is crucial to understand the facts.
Inducing Without Medical Cause has Risk
Labor induction is the interventional approach by a medical provider to stimulate uterine contractions to initiate labor early. Inducing labor can be achieved with pharmaceutical medicines that ripen the cervix, and a physician can medically break the water sac. While this can be done safely and successfully, elective labor should not be done out of convenience or to just be done with pregnancy. A baby needs the full 40-week term of pregnancy to fully develop without compromising mental and lung development.
Elective labor induction poses the following risks to both mother and baby:
- Increased risk of NICU admittance
- Higher chance of prematurity
- Higher chance of jaundice
- Low heart rate
- Umbilical cord complications
- Increased risk for a C-section birth
- Uterine rupture
- Bleeding after delivery
- Infection risk for mother and baby
Necessary Medical Labor Induction
While it is ideal for all babies to fully develop inside the womb for 40 weeks, there are situations in which labor induction benefits outweigh the risks. Labor induction may be scheduled for the following medical reasons:
- Decreased fetal movement
- High blood pressure (preeclampsia)
- Hypertension gestational diabetes
- Fetal growth restriction
- Placental abruption
- Broken water bag while not being in labor
- Beyond 41+ weeks of pregnancy (post-date induction)
At Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A., we always keep the health and safety of you and your baby as our top priority when scheduling labor and delivery. Our physicians and staff know that the end of pregnancy can be very uncomfortable, but we will always use our medical expertise to make the best decision. If labor induction is medically necessary, be assured that you and your baby will receive the best care available during and after delivery.