By Jamell Andrews
Mothers-to-be generally hope to have a natural birth; giving birth when it’s time rather than having to be induced. From old wives tales to warnings about the risks of induced labor to mother and baby, the idea of an induced labor has been a cause of anxiety for expectant mothers. A recent Tel Aviv University study, has found that there is little justification for those fears because induced labor carries no more risk than spontaneous delivery.
The study, which was published in the Archives of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, looked at the perinatal outcome of 625 pregnant women with premature water breakage. The women who didn’t begin labor within 24 hours of their water breaking underwent labor induction. These were compared to women who did spontaneously go into labor within 24 hours of being admitted. The women who had labor induced had an increased risk of needing a Caesarean section (C-section), but this was likely due to blocked birth canals and not related to the induction.
The study concluded that induction produces healthy mothers and infants with risk factors comparable to women who don’t have labor induced.
About Labor Induction
In some cases a healthcare provide may decide that inducing labor would be better for you and your baby. One of the most common reasons is being almost two weeks past your due date without going into labor. There are a few reasons why inducing labor at this point is recommended. For starters, the longer your pregnancy goes on, the bigger your baby will be which can cause complication during a vaginal delivery. More time spent in the womb also increases your baby’s risk of inhaling meconium—or fecal waste—during birth.
Your healthcare provider may also recommend inducing labor if:
- Your water broke, but you’re not having contractions
- There isn’t enough amniotic fluid surrounding your baby
- Your baby has stopped growing or isn’t growing at the expected pace
- You have an infection in your uterus
- You have high blood pressure or another medical condition that is putting you or your baby at risk
- The placenta has partially or completely pulled away from the wall of the uterus before delivery (placental abruption)
There are few different ways that doctors and midwives can induce labor if the choice is made to do so. If these methods don’t work, then a C-section will likely be recommended.