Induction of Labour

Induction of labour is a process to start labour artificially. 

When it is felt that your health or your baby’s health is likely to benefit, the midwife or doctor may offer or recommend induction.  On average about one in five labours are  induced. If you are healthy and have a trouble free pregnancy, induction of labour may be recommended if:

· Your pregnancy is more than 41 weeks (as confirmed on scan)
· Your waters (fluid around the baby) break before labour starts (after 37 weeks)

Other reasons to offer induction include:

· High blood pressure
· Diabetes
· Your baby is not growing appropriately

Even if you have had a healthy trouble free pregnancy you will be offered induction of labour before 42 weeks because after this time the risk to the health of your baby will increase if not delivered.  An induction, because you are post dates, does not increase the chance of you needing a caesarean section. If you choose not to be induced at this stage then you may be seen by your Consultant, who will agree a plan of care with you. 

This may include:
· Twice weekly checks of your baby’s hearbeat with an electronic fetal heart rate monitor

If your waters break before labour starts

Sometimes a woman’s waters break before labour starts.  This happens in about one in twenty pregnancies and is known as pre-labour rupture of the membranes (PROM)
When this happens, about nine out of ten women will go into labour naturally within 24 hours
If you are more than 37 weeks pregnancy and your waters have broken but you have not gone into labour you will be offered the choice of induction of labour.  


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