OB ABCs

Week 40

week_40If your due date has passed and your healthcare provider feels you and your baby would benefit if the birth was sooner as opposed to later, he or she may suggest an induction.

When discussing labor inductions with your provider, it’s important to understand who makes a good candidate for this type of intervention and why it isn’t for everyone.

Why Choose to Induce?

Inducing labor can be a good option for a variety of reasons. It is most commonly used when there is a threat to the health of mom or baby.

Inducing may be recommended if:

  • You have an infection in your uterus.
  • A lack of amniotic fluid surrounds the baby.
  • You have high blood pressure or diabetes.
  • You’re 10 days past your due date without signs of labor.
  • Your baby is no longer growing.
  • Your water has broken without contractions.

Can I Choose to Induce?

An induction is considered elective when it is not performed for medical reasons. Although you may wish to induce based on convenience for a busy lifestyle, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggests that labor should only be induced if it’s dangerous for the baby to stay inside the mother’s uterus, as labor inductions are associated with a variety of risks such as low heart rate, infection, umbilical cord problems and the need for a cesarean.

Can I Wait?

Your preference may be to let your labor progress naturally, but it’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to give birth. If your healthcare provider is concerned about your health or the health of your baby, or your pregnancy continues two weeks past your due date, inducing labor may be the best option.

 TIPS

  • Remember pregnancy and birth are normal psychological events. Feel confident in your choices and your body’s ability to give birth. Choose a positive birth affirmation or mantra—such as “my baby knows the best date to be born”—while awaiting your baby’s arrival.
  • Baby should see his or her pediatrician soon after birth. Be sure to schedule the first visit as soon as baby arrives.