In the last week before your baby is considered post-term, your healthcare team wants to do what they can to keep him safe and sometimes that means scheduling an induction to start your labor.
Sometimes a mother is induced when a health condition requires delivery of her baby. More often, inductions are done when labor doesn't begin on its own by week 42, when the placenta ages and becomes less able to nourish the baby.
Your medical team does inductions the same way they speed up a labor already begun.
Stimulating your nipples may help induce labor as it causes your body to release the hormone oxytocin, which in turn causes your uterus to contract. Prostaglandin suppositories could be inserted in the evening, causing contractions to begin by morning.
Alternatively, your healthcare provider may choose to rupture the amniotic sac (break your waters), or start Pitocin (the synthetic form of oxytocin) by IV (intravenously). Rupturing the amniotic sac has been reported to reduce the length of labor by 12 hours.
If your provider wants to perform any of these steps to start labor, be sure to ask any questions and to share all your concerns. You'll want to be as relaxed and ready for an induced labor as you would be for a natural labor and preparation, rest and understanding will help.
This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.
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