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Labor induction refers to the process of starting labor artificially. There are several good reasons for inducing labor preeclampsia, an unusually big baby at term, and being pregnant longer than 42 weeks (the risk of stillbirth increases after that) are some of them. If your healthcare provider has been discussing inducing labor, should you agree? Let's look at some situations in which to wait, and some in which immediate induction is warranted.

Reasons to induce

  • You have gone into the forty-second week of pregnancy and there are no signs of impending labor. The risk of stillbirth increases at this stage.
  • You have been diagnosed with chorioamnionitis, a serious infection. At that point, most doctors would recommend a c-section, but induction is also sometimes done.
  • There has been a decrease in fetal movement, and your baby is showing signs of fetal distress.
  • You have a partial placental abruption, which is threatening to aggravate.
  • You have too little amniotic fluid.
  • You have high blood pressure and protein spillage in your urine an indication of preeclampsia.

Why wait?

In certain situations, a labor induction will result in a premature birth. This makes complications with your baby more likely. Pitocin, which is most commonly used to induce labor, does have the potential for causing complications for both your baby and you all in itself. Read more about that in our article What is Pitocin? Without a doubt, induction is not a tool to be taken lightly. Because of the risks, most doctors will not agree to carry out an elective induction with only a few exceptions. You should discuss all the risks of both not inducing and inducing before agreeing to inducing labor, or deciding to wait. If you are not convinced your doctor's suggestion is best, you can always ask for a second opinion.

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