Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What About Induction?

It seems that there are more and more inductions scheduled and patients know less and less why. Ordinarily for up to two weeks past your due date the March of Dimes and others suggest a conservative "let nature take its course" approach. Starting your labor without medical intervention seems to be the way it's intended. However, two weeks is a logical point at which to consider inducing labor. Babies get bigger and bigger which may make vaginal delivery complicated. In some cases, an aging placenta will not function optimally for babies to thrive. Overdue babies are at increased risk for meconium aspiration and the need for increased surveillance after delivery.

There are typically certain criteria which makes induction of labor a strong recommendation. That two week marker and no spontaneous contractions. Rupture of the amniotic sac and no labor contractions. Infection in the uterus or not enough fluid to sustain the pregnancy. Growth of the baby has stopped at the expected rate. Placental deterioration. A partial or even complete separation of the placenta from the uterus. Any maternal medical condition that will put the pregnancy and you at increased risk: high blood pressure, diabetes.

You may not be able to control all the variables surrounding your labor and delivery. However, you are always within your rights to question your provider's plan. Be proactive and you will know why your provider has made the medical decisions that affect you and your baby.