Induced labor is the gynecologist's way of artificially triggering labor. When there is some kind of risk to the baby or the mother, the gynecologist may recommend inducing labor.
It is usually achieved by intravenously giving the pregnant woman oxytocin, the hormone that causes the contractions that initiate labor.
If the gynecologist sees that the pregnant woman does not go into labor spontaneously or there is some kind of risk to the baby or the pregnant woman, he may recommend inducing labor. According to midwife Sara Cañamero, this type of delivery It is indicated in the following situations:
- Premature rupture of membranes: if the woman breaks water and after the time stipulated by the protocol of each hospital (12-24 hours) she has not gone into labor spontaneously; or it is a carrier of Streptococcus B + with a broken bag.
- Prolonged pregnancy: labor usually occurs in week 41 + 3
- Maternal causes: such as certain cases of hypertension (pre-eclampsia), poorly controlled gestational diabetes or certain diseases that may put the health of the mother or baby at risk.
- Fetal or placental causes: any situation that causes the well-being of the baby to be compromised if the pregnancy continues (meconium, delayed untrauterine growth, aging of the placenta ...).
Induced labor has some risks for the baby and the pregnant woman. The time of delivery is longer than in spontaneous natural delivery and there is uterine hyperstimulation. There is a greater chance that this delivery will end in a cesarean section or that instruments such as forceps will be needed, that the baby will aspirate meconium or that the uterine will rupture.
Induction of labor is a practice that has been increasing progressively. However, the World Health Organization recommends that induced labor rates do not exceed 10 percent, a percentage that is exceeded in most countries.
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