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Newborn babyNewborn baby

What is induction?

Induction is labour that's started artificially. Sometimes labour can be induced if your baby is overdue (41 weeks + 5 days) or if there's any sort of risk to you or your baby's health.

Inductions will usually be planned in advance. You can talk with your doctor and midwife about the risk and benefits, and find out why they think your labour should be induced.

It is your choice whether to have your labour induced or not. Most women go into labour naturally by the time they're 42 weeks pregnant.

If your pregnancy lasts longer than 42 weeks and you decide not to have your labour induced, you will be offered increased monitoring to check you baby's wellbeing.

What happens if induction of my labour fails?

If the neck of the womb does not open after the maximum doses of prostaglandin you will be reviewed by a consultant obstetrician.

Depending on your circumstances and wishes it may be suggested that c-section is the most appropriate way to deliver your baby.

Types of inductions

There are five types of induction:

  • breaking the waters
  • oxytocin (syntocinon)
  • membrane sweeping
  • prostaglandins
  • cervical balloon

You will be offered the method suitable to your circumstances.

In all cases of induction of labour the well-being of yourself and your baby is paramount, the procedure can only take place if it is considered safe to do so, and with your consent.

Attending the Maternity Unit for induction of labour

On the date of your induction you'll come to the Maternity Unit on the 1st floor where the process will start.

If your pregnancy is considered to be high risk, the induction process will be on the Delivery Suite.

Waiting for spontaneous labour

You may prefer not to be induced because you feel the risks to your baby are very small and you would prefer to avoid the induction process and wait for spontaneous labour.

If your pregnancy has been normal and you want to wait for spontaneous labour beyond 12 days after your due date, we recommend monitoring your baby.

This may involve a scan at approximately term + 12 days to check the amount of water around your baby and a check of your baby with a heart monitor.

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