When your pregnancy ends, you begin to experience your labor pain and eventually move towards childbirth. It is certainly painful, but a wonderful experience to give birth to a child and hear its first cry. But sometimes, due to some physical complications, emergency conditions might arise during the time of labor or childbirth. So, during that emergency period, it is always recommendable to speed up the process of labor and childbirth, either naturally or artificially with the help of medicines or necessary treatment procedures to save the life of the child and to keep the mother healthy so that she can have a safe and healthy childbirth. This process of controlling labor and childbirth for emergencies in pregnancy is known as ‘Labor Induction’ according to medical terms.
Why Do You Need A Labor Induction?
When you reach the closing weeks of your pregnancy, for example, the 40th week or so, you will feel that your body is gradually preparing for labor and childbirth. But there are several factors that can potentially create complications during these days that might lead to damage during labor and childbirth. Some of these factors are listed here as follows:
- If you have high levels of blood pressure and preeclampsia
- If your baby has not undergone proper growth
- Improper positions of the baby in your uterus
- Infection in the urinary tract or bladder
- The lower amount of amniotic fluid in the sac surrounding your baby
- gestational diabetes
- If your water breaks but you have no contractions
- separation of the sac known as the placenta from the uterus
- Incompatibility of Rh or Rhesus factor
- If you live too far from the hospital
- You had delivered quickly in your previous pregnancies
Ways For Inducing Labor:
Whenever you are thinking of undergoing induction of labor, you should positively as for the help of a health care expert. The doctor is the only person to decide whether in your case, medicines should be applied, or you need other techniques. Another important thing is, that you should also consult your midwife when you are inducing labor. You can induce your own labor too, but this should be decided by your concerned physician and should be done under the supervision of a midwife.
There are some ways that can be effectively used by health care experts and midwives to have a safe labor and healthy childbirth. Though the same methods cannot be applicable or can be used for all women as pregnancy conditions of each woman can vary, there are some common methods to follow. Some such methods of labor induction are listed below:
- Use of medications: According to recent studies and experiments it has been found that there are broadly two classes of medicines that are required for inducing labor in your pregnancy. One of them is known as prostaglandins, a type of external hormone that helps in easy labor and childbirth by softening the cervical opening during delivery. These types of medicines are taken either orally or inserted into your vagina to ease the process of childbirth.
Another class of medicine is the most common one used during induction of labor- known as pitcoin or oxytocin which induces contractions as soon as applied. But one should keep in mind that your uterus should be fully ready for the process of labor. If it is not ready, the above medicines recommended will not work.
- Stripping the membranes: Stripping of the membrane is a medical procedure performed by your doctor in the presence of your midwife. This scientific technique involves detachment of the amniotic sac that surrounds and provides nutrients to the baby from the uterine wall at the cervix.
There are some discrepancies about the application of this procedure among various health care experts because application of this process leads to cramping, painful contractions, discomfort to the mother, and spotting.
- Mechanical dilation: Doctors and midwives also follow the method of mechanical dilation that induces your labor with a catheter. This thin rubber-like tube is inserted into your vagina reaches your cervix and makes the labor easy.
In cases where induction of labor becomes necessary for faster and safer labor and childbirth, some important methods should be followed to make the process safe and healthy so that both the mother and the child remain safe and healthy.
Sometimes doctors and midwives try to ease the process of labor inductions to trigger the contractions and smoothen the cervical opening. To do this requires some techniques. Following are some of them:
- Breaking the water or a process known as amniotomy when your doctor makes some small holes in your baby’s amniotic sac
- Softening and ripening of your cervical region.
Other Ways of Inducing Your Labor: The Natural Methods
As we all know, there are some potential risks of using medications and surgical techniques for the induction of labor. Some medicines are even reportedly known to damage either the health of the mother and the baby or can cost anyone’s life. But at times, labor induction becomes necessary to keep the child and the mother safe and healthy after childbirth. There are some effective natural ways that can help in the process of labor induction.
Ways of Inducing Labor Naturally
Here are some of the most crucial techniques for inducing your labor naturally and safely.
Acupuncture is a method of natural labor induction that is commonly used in many parts of Asia, mostly in India for easy labor and childhood. But this process is only helpful if the mother is pregnant for 40 weeks (about 9 months) and cannot work if the duration increases.
Performing sexual intercourse is known to release a hormone known as prostaglandins that helps to induce labor effectively and thus helps to make childbirth easy.
Other possible methods: Apart from the processes mentioned above, there are a few more ways to induce labor naturally by avoiding the side effects of labor induction. Some of them are listed below:
- Long walks, regular workouts, and proper exercises like yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises
- Having a healthy and balanced diet
- Application of small quantities of castor oil
- Sexual intercourse
- Hot showers
- Ways that help to stimulate the mother’s breasts and nipples
- Eggplant casseroles
- Use herbs like cohosh that contain plant-based chemicals similar to estrogen, oil of evening primrose that contains prostaglandin that helps to ripen your cervical region, or leaves of red raspberry tea.
Possible Risks in Induction Of Labor:
Though induction of labor is a safe process to speed up labor and result in safe childbirth, it also involves some risk factors and some potential side effects. So, before you go for induction of labor it is important to know its downsides so that you can discuss this with your health care expert before your delivery. Some such side effects are as follows:
- According to recent studies and experiments you might have a chance of developing mental health issues such as post-natal depression that might be harmful to your health.
- Studies and research say that labor induction may often lead to more intense pains and contractions.
- Mild to heavy bleeding from the vagina after childbirth
- Induction of labor is risky for you if you had placenta previa, prolapse of the umbilical cord, or if you are suffering from a herpes infection in your genitals
- If cannot bear labor induction successfully, you might end up having a cesarean delivery that might bring enough side effects on your health and can also create some difficulties for your baby. This might be to some extent, very confusing for especially new mothers who have certain cervical disorders.
Apart from these, there are some other adverse effects of labor induction too. Some of them are as follows:
- Infections: While labor induction is done, there are certain techniques such as rupturing of the membrane is done to make the labor quick and easy. But according to studies this method can cause adverse effects on both mom and the baby as this can cause the spread of infections.
- Rupture of the uterus: The uterus might get ruptured if you have a labor induction that might lead to cesarean delivery. This may also occur if you had a previous history of cesarean delivery or uterine surgery.
- The improper heartbeat of your baby: Induction of labor can also lead to abnormal heart rates in your baby.
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