Do you intend to request an elective induction? Or has your healthcare provider advised getting one? In either case, it’s crucial to understand the pros and cons of inducing labor and the dangers and advantages for you and your child.
Sometimes, labor is induced before the two-week waiting period. This is because of a specific medical issue that might be risky for the unborn child. Because the baby should be born, labor is frequently induced.
Numerous medical conditions could prompt a doctor to induce labor. The cervix is normally ready for delivery in the most effective, comfortable manner by nature.
Inducing labor might be the best choice if there are concerns about the mother’s or the baby’s health and the pregnancy lasts longer than two weeks than the scheduled delivery date.
Why the concern after two weeks? Amniotic fluid may start to diminish when a pregnancy lasts for a period longer than 42 weeks. Having a larger-than-average baby is also more likely.
One of the most typical explanations is that even though you haven’t yet felt any contractions, your water may have already ruptured. The child is more likely to experience health problems now that the water has broken and may experience oxygen deprivation while still in the womb.
A woman may also undergo labor induction if she has a particular medical condition for which a continued pregnancy risks her health. Diabetes and high blood pressure are two of the most common conditions.
Knowing the pros and cons of inducing labor is important because starting labor early reduces the likelihood of a serious problem arising during delivery. An issue with the placenta is another factor that could lead to labor being induced.
Below are the pros and cons of inducing labor:
Pros of Inducing Labor
1. Safer Labor and Delivery for both Mom and Baby
If a pregnancy is past its due date or if the mother has underlying medical issues, inducing labor can help ensure safe delivery.
2. Lower Risk of Stillbirth
If your healthcare provider believes continued pregnancy puts the mother or child at risk for stillbirth, inducing labor may be recommended.
3. Reduced Risk of Complications
Inducing labor reduces the risk of serious complications, such as cord prolapse (a problem that develops during labor, generally before or during delivery. It occurs when the umbilical cord prolapses—moving out of its usual place—and emerges through your cervix before your child) and placental abruption (this happens before delivery when the placenta partially or separates from the uterus’ inner wall. This may reduce or obstruct the baby’s intake of nutrients and oxygen and lead to severe bleeding in the mother).
4. Lower risk of cesarean delivery (C-section)
The risk of cesarean delivery is increased with inductions performed after 41 weeks of pregnancy and earlier than 39 weeks.
5. Reduced Risk of Infection
If you’re expecting multiples, inducing labor reduces the risk of infection. As your pregnancy progresses, the likelihood of infection increases.
Cons of Inducing Labor
1. Increased Need for Further Medical Procedures
Induction is a medical procedure in itself, and research indicates that it may necessitate further procedures later on in delivery. Usually, your body starts natural preparations a few weeks before labor starts.
Because your body isn’t physically prepared for labor, being induced implies that all those processes must occur quickly.
As a result, other procedures like an epidural, forceps delivery, or vacuum extraction, in which your doctor uses tools to help move your baby out of the vagina and down the birth canal, are more likely to be used during induced labor.
Another procedure, like an episiotomy, in which your doctor cuts at the opening of the vagina, is also more likely.
2. Slow Induction
It’s not always the case, even though some women who are given an induction go into labor and give birth to their kids rapidly.
Induction can take a few hours or days to reach where you’re in labor. An induction will likely be slow if you haven’t reached full term and your body isn’t already exhibiting indications of preparing for labor.
3. Negative Impact on Your Health or the Health of Your Baby During Childbirth
Pitocin and prostaglandins, used to induce labor, can also result in irregular or excessively frequent contractions. Your baby’s heart rate may slow, and the oxygen supply may be reduced.
Pitocin induction carries a variety of dangers. Breaking your water is an induction technique that involves touching or tampering with the amniotic sac and can raise the infant and mother’s risk of infection.
The likelihood of infection rises if labor doesn’t begin and proceeds within 24-48 hours of rupturing membranes.
The likelihood that your uterus’s muscles won’t regularly contract after giving birth rises if you undergo an inducement. This condition, known as uterine atony, can result in significant bleeding.
4. Baby Experiencing Health and Developmental Issues
There is a higher likelihood that your newborn will need to spend time in the intensive care unit (ICU) following delivery if labor is induced before your child has met significant developmental milestones.
Early delivery may cause long-term health issues for some infants. A baby’s brain growth during the final five weeks of pregnancy is critical, and its lungs are still developing at this time as well.
5. Increased Risk of Cesarean Section (C-section)
Labor induced before 39 weeks can lead to a C-section delivery because the contractions are harder and longer than those experienced during normal labor. This increases the risk of complications for both mother and baby.
6. Longer Labor Time
If labor is induced, it can take much longer than normal labor, leading to both mother and baby exhaustion.
There you have it! The pros and cons of inducing labor. You must comprehend your doctor’s reasoning when they bring up the idea of an induction.
Ask enough questions as needed, and if you still need convincing, ask them to provide the data supporting their claim that induction is the most secure course of action for you.
The decision to induce labor is difficult, and it is important to understand the risks and benefits involved before taking that step.