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Why You Might Need Your Labor Induced

Why You Might Need Your Labor Induced

Most women who give birth vaginally go into labor naturally. But in about a third of deliveries, a doctor or midwife opts to induce labor, which means they use medication or other methods to get labor started. Labor induction stimulates the uterus to begin contracting.

If you're pregnant, you may wish to learn more about why we might recommend labor induction. Typically, we turn to labor induction only when we have a medically necessary reason to use it.

Board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist Houmam Al-Hakeem, MD, and our medical team at Westover Hills Women’s Health would like you to understand some of the factors that can lead to labor induction. Here, we share some of the most common reasons to induce labor.

Your baby is overdue

Pregnancy typically lasts about 40 weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period. But when pregnancy stretches to 41 or 42 weeks or longer, we may recommend inducing labor. 

When your baby is overdue, you are more likely to experience complications such as infection, placenta problems, or difficulty delivering.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advises against elective labor induction before 39 weeks unless there is a medical reason to do so. Inducing labor early can put your baby's health at risk. 

ACOG recommends that labor be induced only when its benefits outweigh its risks.

Your water has broken but labor hasn't started

Typically, labor begins a short time after your amniotic sac breaks open. But if this doesn't happen and you have a condition known as premature rupture of membranes, we may induce labor. 

If too much time elapses between your water breaking and your contractions starting, your risk of infection goes up. Fortunately, labor induction after 39 weeks of pregnancy appears to be safe for you and your baby.

Health issues

Various medical issues and pregnancy complications can make induction necessary. These may include: 

Labor induction may also be necessary if your baby isn't growing properly or if they have stopped growing because of a condition known as fetal growth restriction.

We may also induce labor if you’re physically uncomfortable or in pain because of your pregnancy.

Your source for pregnancy care

Receiving regular pregnancy care is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby. Dr. Al-Hakeem and our team of midwives are honored to provide you checkups, testing, and labor and delivery care.

To schedule a visit at one of our two San Antonio, Texas, offices, call us today or use our online tool to book an appointment.

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