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Childbirth: How does induction take place?

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Childbirth: How does induction take place?

Some situations, for the baby or the mother, require to induce labor artificially. Which ones? What are the consequences of artificial induction of labor?

Table of contents

At what point can you induce labor?

At any time, Before term, it is proposed that letting the pregnancy continue is more dangerous than stopping it for the mother or her baby. In the long term, apart from a maternal or fetal problem, delivery is induced if the pregnancy is overdue. The range? Between 41 and 42 weeks of amenorrhea (SA). Another reason: when the water breaks before the start of labor, because of the risk of infection. It is on a case-by-case basis for other reasons such as maternal diabetes or a large baby.

How do you go about inducing labor?

Everything depends on the cervix. If it is “favorable,” i.e., softened, shortened, and already a little open, the midwife breaks the water bag to start the contractions. If the water bag has already broken, contractions are induced by administering an intravenous infusion of oxytocin. If the cervix is “unfavorable,” it undergoes prior maturation thanks to hormones, prostaglandins introduced in the form of a gel or tampon into the vagina. Another method used: the balloon, introduced into the cervix, then inflated to dilate it.

Is it possible to induce labor without a medical reason?

Yes, it is quite possible to arrange the mother in her family organization or live far from the maternity hospital. On the other hand, the term must be higher than 39 SA, that the baby is head down and that the cervix is already well open and shortened. Similarly, the mother must not have had a cesarean section during a previous pregnancy. This could further weaken the uterus.

Triggering: does it hurt?

Triggering causes contractions that, after a while, can become painful. But don’t worry, there are different methods to reduce the pain: walking, ballooning, bathing, and if that’s not enough, painkillers or an epidural.

Induction of labor: are there any risks?

There is no such thing as zero risk, but by following the recommendations, we try to avoid them as much as possible. The main risk? The induction does not “work” and ends in a cesarean section – the more unfavorable the cervix, the greater the risk. Another risk is abnormally long labor, which increases the possibility of bleeding right after delivery. Finally, a complication that fortunately happens rarely can occur if the mother has already had a cesarean: uterine rupture.


Labor induction is a medical treatment in which your doctor or midwife assists you in entering labor. While it is generally preferable to let labor occur naturally, there are rare exceptions. Your doctor may opt to induce you for medical reasons or avoid infection if your water breaks before labor commencement.

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