Yes. It is possible to choose the date of birth of your baby. This is made possible via a process known as induction of labour. Induction of labor is the stimulation of uterine contractions during pregnancy before labour begins on its own to achieve a vaginal birth.
However, labour induction isn’t that procedure most doctors would recommend just because a couple wants their baby on a particular day. It is mainly done when there are medical issues relating to either mother or baby.
Induction can be appropriate in particular circumstances where there’s no danger to the health of the mother or child. If a woman close to labour lives very far from the health center, labour induction can be done to prevent an unattended delivery. Women who had previous rapid deliveries too can be induced for the same reason.
In this piece, we will take you through the necessary details of the procedure. Let’s dive right in.
Why is induction done?
- Post-term pregnancy.
- Premature rupture of membranes.
- Infection of the uterus or chorioamnionitis
- Fetal growth restriction.
- Gestational diabetes.
- High blood pressure disorders of pregnancy like preeclampsia.
- Placental abruption.
All of these are medical reasons. Elective reasons have been described earlier.
Can everyone get an induction?
No. Induction will not be considered in the following cases:
- Women who have had a prior C-section with a classical incision or major uterine surgery
- If an assessment of placenta previa has been made already
- The abnormal lie of the fetus, either breech or transverse.
- Having an active genital infection
- Assessment of umbilical cord prolapse
What are the risks of Induction of labour?
- Low heart rate due to certain medications used for the induction
- Infection, especially if the process and the environment is not sterile
- Uterine rupture is a very rare but serious complication
- Bleeding after delivery can become a fatal complication especially if not done in a safe environment.
- Failed induction.
Most times, a successful induction leads to successful vaginal delivery, with no implications for future pregnancies. Several methods can be used, but this will be at the discretion of the obstetrician.