What You Should Know about Risks of Labour Induction

When labor begins naturally, it begins a very complex process, involving your baby, your body and your brain. Your baby sends signals when he or she is ready for life outside the uterus and your brain responds by releasing the hormone Oxytocin. During labor, this hormone causes your uterus to contract, dilating the cervix and pushing your baby out. As labour progresses, the brain releases endorphins – another hormone that functions as painkillers. When an induction happens, you skip the mentioned stages above, which means your body will not respond as naturally as it should because your body and your baby are not ready.

Why is Labor Induced?

Most women opt for an induction when they get too tired to continue carrying a pregnancy. It is however important to note that an induction can cause life-threatening risks.

These are the most common reasons for induction:

  • Past your due date: Full term is estimated to be between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy. Your estimated due date (EDD) falls around the 40 week mark, calculated as 288 days from your last menstrual period. Many hospitals have a policy of induction at 10 days after the EDD.
  • Premature Rupture of Membranes: When the amniotic sac ruptures before labor begins (water breaking), it is called premature rupture of membranes (PROM). Many women are given a time frame for contractions to begin naturally (usually 24 hours), if it does not happen, they are induced to prevent infection.
  • Suspected Large Baby: Ultrasounds are not very accurate, so babies are suspected to be very large until they are born. There are many reasons why a baby is large – gestational diabetes, overeating during pregnancy etc.

What are the Risks of an Induction?

Babies who are induced before they are ready to be born can miss out on important development in the uterus, and are at greater risk of being born with respiratory problems, low blood sugar, jaundice, irregular heart rate and the inability to stabilize their own temperature as they mature.

They are also more likely to have difficulty with establishing breastfeeding, which can have an ongoing impact on health and well being for both mother and baby. Why? Because technically, an induction is done when the baby is not ready to be born yet. We are aware that some situations require an induction, but the point still remains that the child would most likely not have been developed fully before he or she is born. Before an induction is considered, your doctor should advise accordingly.


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“What You Should Know about Risks of Labour Induction”

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