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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Labor Induced

Laura was Induced, but what does that mean?

Hey folks,

OK. So this past week, I was talking about my new Son being born. His official Due Date was Friday 012111. Yet, at the time, she was only 3 centimeters dilated and only feeling sporadic pains here and there. So the Doctors told us that if she did not go into Labor over the Weekend, she would be Induced.

I shared with everyone how that actually went down. I shared it here. But I've had some honest questions about this. What IS Induction? What does that mean? Is it safe? So lets look into this a bit more in this Week's Health and Science Segment.

Why is labor induced?:

Labor can be induced for many reasons. Labor should only be induced for valid medical reasons because of the risks involved with induction of labor. Some of these reasons include:

•maternal illness (high blood pressure, diabetes, uterine infection, etc.)
•fetal illness
•42 completed weeks of gestation
Now in Laura's case, this is our Second Child, full gestation, and Mom and Baby were extremely healthy. So they did not want, for the concern of Mom, Eli was near 8 pounds already, they wanted to speed up the Process before he got too much bigger.

What are the risks of inducing labor?

The risks of inducing labor are numerous. They include:

•Increased risk of premature baby, even if you believe your baby is term
•Placental Abruption
•Fetal Distress
•Uterine Rupture
•Increased risk of cesarean section
•Increased use of interventions including pain relief, continuous fetal monitoring and other interventions
Now none of this is common. However, I did learn that SHORT Labor, in Laura's case 3 and a half hours, is MORE Painful than longer Labors. To Laura's credit, and the amazement of the Midwife and Nurses, Laura wanted NO Pain Relief. She claimed she was just fine.

Now there IS what is called Social Induction. I did not know this until I started looking into Induction.
What is a social induction of labor?:

A social induction is also known as an induction for convenience of either the doctor, the midwife or the family. It may be done to get the practitioner that you want, to aid in family scheduling or to try to pick a certain birth date. This is highly discouraged due to the added risks of induction of labor.
Yeah, I do not recommend that. In our case, we KNEW that the Gestation period was complete, and we knew that Laura's body was ready. Just needed a bit of a jump start. Then 3 1/2 hours later, Elijah.

Now for those of you out there that may be Pregnant and are thinking about Induction, there ARE natural methods.
Many women are turning towards natural methods of labor induction with some success. The most common home induction tricks can include:

•Nipple Stimulation
•Castor Oil
•Sex as Induction Method
•Stripping the Membranes
•Relaxation & Visual Imagery
•Natural Labor Induction
DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE Nipple Stimulation, for VARIOUS reasons. Trust me on that one. But if you are seriously looking into Induction, and the Natural Methods do not seem to be working. What can you look forward to?
Labor can be induced a number of ways. Some of the more common methods include:

•Breaking the Bag of Water (Amniotomy)
•Pitocin (Synthetic hormone to start contractions)
•Foley Catheter
•Stripping the Membranes
Now Laura got Misoprostol (Cytotec) which is a synthetic PGE1 Analogue. Because of its prostaglantin activity it is also very useful for Cervical Ripening and Induction of Labor. Basically, it speeds up the Dilation Process and jump starts the Labor. It is safe and just causes your body to do it's thing.

And do it's thing it did. Laura and Baby are both doing fine. She is glad it's over, but can't wait to sleep again. I know, I know, I'm doing my part. I can say, "Honey, Baby needs you." with the best of them. {Smile} Just kidding. As long as Laura pumps enough, Eli is by my side and she is off to sleep. He even likes the OPNTalk Blog Office. Been here twice already.

Anyway, I hope that answered some of your questions and set your mind at easy. I see no real draw backs to Induction of Labor, I'm not sure I would recommend Social Induction, but if all is well, and you go past your Due Date, I see nothing wrong with looking into Induction. Worked for us.

Child - Protocol: Misoprostol (Cytotec) for Cervical Ripening and Induction of Labor

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