What is induction of labor?
This is when medical interventions are taken to cause a woman to go into labor.
When are inductions necessary?
There is certainly some subjectivity to this question, but some cases that may need an induction of labor would include developing pre-eclampsia or pregnancy induced hypertenstion (PIH), low or high amniotic fluid, the baby being too big or too small, and going far over your due date. This is not an exhaustive list but more of the common reasons why induction may be considered.
What medicines are used to induce labor?
Depending on the circumstances different medicines may be used.
Cervidil is used to help prepare the cervix for labor. It is put inside of the woman behind the cervix and left in for up to 12 hours.
Cytotec is also used to prepare the cervix for labor as well. It can be put behind the cervix and absorbed or taken orally. This can be given every 4 hours minimum, depending on contractions.
Pitocin is a synthetic form of the hormone secreted by women to cause labor. It is given through an IV and the dose depends on the provider and how labor is progressing.
A balloon catheter is another device used for induction that does not involve medicine but can be used in conjunction with pitocin to aid in inducing labor. A balloon catheter is inserted by a doctor or midwife into the cervix so that the balloon that is inflated puts pressure on the cervix to aid it in opening.
Three of my births thus far have been inductions and were completely different experiences. I so desired not to be induced, but God taught me so much through them. From my personal experience I definitely would not recommend having an elective induction as my recoveries were a lot easier when I was not induced. Whether or not you should be induced should be a matter of prayer, seeking God's wisdom.
What is your experience with induction?
Updated from Inductions posted on February 17, 2014