Sometimes it may be necessary to know how to induce labor when the weeks of gestation are completed. There are different treatments that help start labor by causing contractions of the uterus or making them stronger.
If you want to know how to cause labor, stay and we will explain the different methods used by medicine to start labor in a safe way for the mother and her baby.
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How is labor caused?
The amniotic sac or bag is the membranous envelope that surrounds the fetus and contains the amniotic fluid that surrounds and protects the baby. When labor begins naturally, what is commonly known as "water break", which is nothing more than the rupture of the amniotic bag with the consequent exit of its contents through the vagina.
But on certain occasions, this does not happen and then it will have to be provoked because once the nine months of gestation are over, the birth of the baby is a mandatory necessity.
The doctor will carry out a series of tests and reviews prior to the induction of labor to proceed safely. He will do a pelvic exam and then a probe will be passed through your cervix (thin plastic tube) with a hook at its end end which will create a hole in the amniotic sac membranes. It is a safe procedure that does not harm the mother or the baby.
After this intervention, contractions start after a few minutes or a few hours. If labor does not start after a few hours, the mother will be given an intravenous medication that will trigger labor. It is important to do this because once the amniotic bag is broken, the risk of infection is greater.
The use of prostaglandins
labor or just childbirth consists of a series of muscular contractions of the uterus as the cervix widens and becomes softer, thus allowing the baby to exit through the vaginal canal.
Early in pregnancy, the tissues that make up the cervix make it firm, elongate, and keep the cervix closed. But as mentioned, when the time of delivery arrives, its composition changes, becoming more lax and dilating the cervix. If this does not happen, a medication containing prostaglandins can be applied. This hormone is naturally released by the woman's body but sometimes it is not enough and it will have to be supplied externally.
The medicine is placed in the vagina near the cervix and will begin to soften the tissues of the cervix. Then the contractions can start. The baby's heart rate will be monitored at all times.. If labor does not start, the mother can be allowed to walk around a bit, as movement stimulates contractions.
Supply of oxytocin or Pitocin
Oxytocin is a hormone naturally present in the woman's body and is secreted in greater quantity when the time of delivery arrives. But commonly an extra contribution is provided to facilitate or promote labor.
Its trade name is Pitocin and it is a medication that is injected intravenously initiates uterine contractions on a regular basis or makes them more intense. It is given at a constant rate and the dose can be increased progressively if necessary. Once the contractions have started, it may be considered convenient to reduce the dose.
The baby's heart rate will be monitored at all times and the strength of the contractions since if they are too strong they could hurt you. Oxytocin cannot be given if it is observed that the baby is not receiving a sufficient supply of oxygen or nutrients.
Oxytocin is also sometimes used after labor has started but contractions have not been strong enough to dilate the cervix.
Reasons for provoking labor
There are many reasons why it may be necessary to induce labor and many times it is done before labor even begins naturally. Labor can be induced in the following cases:
- If after 34 or 36 weeks of gestation the amniotic sac ruptures but labor does not begin.
- Si the due date has passed, (between 41 and 42 weeks)
- If the mother has suffered a stillborn (intrauterine fetal death) previously.
- If any condition is detected during pregnancy that could endanger your health or that of your baby, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
With this information you will be able to know the main guidelines to learn how to cause labor.
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