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What is induction of labor?
Induction of labor means getting the process of childbirth (labor) started before it happens naturally on its own. This is done with the use of medicines or, in some cases, surgical methods.
When is it used?
In most cases, your pregnancy will progress as it should and labor will occur naturally. However, there are instances when a concern with your health makes it necessary to start the birth process early. Examples include:
Sometimes minor problems with the pregnancy can require your provider to induce labor. These include:
Other reasons for an induction of labor can be discussed with your physician prior to induction of labor.
Before starting labor, the physician will check the opening of your uterus (the cervix) to see if it is getting ready to allow the baby to go through. This helps our physicians know the best way to begin the induction. We will also check the baby’s position. In some cases, we may check the baby’s lungs by testing a sample of amniotic fluid.
When is induction not used?
In most cases, an induction of labor is not necessary and the labor and birthing processes continue regularly. However, there are circumstances in which an induction of labor is not done. In these cases, we will discuss with you the next best course of action.
What are the risks associated with this procedure?
While generally safe, there are risks to induction of labor. These include:
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