Why induced labour?
It is advisable to opt for an induced labour if pregnancy is overdue as such a situation poses a risk to the baby. This is because the placenta becomes weak and may not supply sufficient oxygen and nutrients to the baby and may even collapse.
There are many ways of inducing labour:
Membrane strip: A membrane sweep or strip encourages labour and is given to expectant mothers who are overdue especially if it is their first pregnancy. The membrane that is surrounding the foetus is removed and this is the most preferred way of induction.
Artificially rupturing the membranes or ARM: This means ‘breaking the waters’ or rupturing the amniotic sac of the expectant mother. A few sections of the medical fraternity still choose this way of inducing labour and to hasten labour if it is not making any headway. Most doctors do not prefer this method as the foetus is susceptible to infection after the waters have been broken. This method has shown considerably encouraging results when used with other methods of induction.
Prostaglandin: A tablet may be administered orally or a gel may be inserted into the vagina. This substance thins the walls of the cervix. This method may be individually used or in a combination with oxytocin.
Syntocinon: This is a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin and is only used in small doses initially if the above-mentioned methods fail. It has several disadvantages over other methods. If other methods have not worked, the doctor may opt for a Caesarean as an alternative to Syntocinon as it can cause strong contractions and put the baby under severe stress.
It is always advisable to consult your doctor before you take any further step. She is in the bets position to tell what is best for you. Finally, be calm and confident and wait for the joy of welcoming your baby to your world.