What factors may lead to the induction of labor? | by
Steven Grover MD, OB/GYN, The OB/GYN Center, Sky Ridge Medical Center
There are two different types of induction – medical and elective. For mom’s with previous vaginal deliveries, as long as gestation is at 39 weeks and the cervix is beginning to dilate, elective induction is an option. As a first time Mom, elective induction is not recommended because it may significantly increase the chances it won’t work and may lead to a C-section.
If a mom’s had a previous C-section, it’s best to let labor progress naturally to lower the risk of complications or rupturing of scar tissue.
Medical induction is best between 41 and 42 weeks (7 to 10 days past due). At this point it’s best to induce even first time moms to decrease the risk of placenta rupture and allows the baby to be born while the placenta is at it’s strongest.
Conditions including pregnancy induced hypertension, pre-ecaclampsia or toxemia are other times labor induction is recommended, but at no earlier than 37 to 39 weeks in severe cases. If the baby is smaller than expected for the gestational age, it can also be an indication the placenta isn’t working and the fetus is not growing, so induction is best.
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