3rd Trimester – Inducing Labor
Did you know that only five percent of babies are born on their due dates? So being pregnant after the due date is normal and common. And it does not mean anything is wrong. But sometimes the doctor has concerns about the baby’s and/or your wife’s health. In these cases, the doctor recommends inducing labor. Inducing labor means that your doctor will start your wife’s labor through artificial means. Most doctors will wait one to two weeks after a woman’s due date before considering inducing.
Some reasons why doctors induce labor include:
- The mother has a chronic illness like high blood pressure or diabetes that threatens the health of the baby.
- The baby is not growing normally.
- A woman’s “water breaks” which means the membranes that surround the fetus rupture but contractions don’t start within a safe amount of time.
Most doctors induce labor in the hospital to ensure the health of the mother and baby. There are many ways to start contractions. Doctors can rupture the membranes (break the water) surrounding the fetus. They can also insert a suppository containing a hormone into the vagina. Most often, doctors use a medicine called Pitocin to induce labor. Pitocin is a hormone that causes contractions. Women in the hospital receive Pitocin through a vein in the arm or hand.