Induction of your labour
We recommend that you eat before you arrive.
Why have we decided to induce your labour?
There are various reasons why we may try to induce labour (induction) instead of waiting for it to begin spontaneously. Some illnesses that you may be suffering from, for examples such as pregnancy toxaemia (pre-eclampsia) or diabetes, may be causes for inducing labour. Or we may suspect that your baby’s health is in jeopardy. In some cases, we may also need to induce your labour if you have passed your expected delivery date. You will receive information about the specific reason why we have chosen to induce your labour from the obstetrician or midwife at your local maternity clinic, Barnmorskemottagning, (BMM).
Since induction is an artificial way of starting the birth, the goal is to stimulate the contractions that are effective and that cause the cervix to dilate. Sometimes, inducing full labour can take several days. It’s good to have a patient attitude towards induction, just as you would have if your labour began spontaneously.
How is labour induced?
We use different methods for inducing labour depending on your cervix’s consistency, length and degree of dilation:
- Hormone tablets
- Rupturing your amniotic sac so that your “waters break”
- Hormone I.V.
- Hormone gel
Hormone tablets or gel
If your cervix is unripe (long, firm and closed), we will use hormones to cause it to ripen and induce labour. Ordinarily, we give hormones in the form of tablets with prostaglandin. You take these tablets according to a schedule until your contractions start.
In occasionally cases, we might administer hormones in the form of a gel with prostaglandin placed inside your vagina. It’s important that you lie down for the first hour after the gel is inserted, so that it will stay in place. After that, you can get up and move around as normal. After six hours have passed, we make a new assessment of your condition. If the cervix has dilated by that time, we can rupture your amniotic sac so that your waters break. If this is not the case, more gel can be inserted.
Occasionally, we might use a small vaginal insert that emits the hormone prostaglandin slowly. This insert is removed using a string after 24 hours if it has failed to produce any effect.
If your cervix has opened slightly, we can insert a thin catheter into your uterus via your vagina. This catheter has a small balloon in the top that we then fill with water. This helps widen the cervix. The catheter will be pulled taught and taped to your thigh. Once the balloon falls out, the cervix is usually open 3 cm. We then rupture your amniotic sac so that your waters break. If the catheter doesn’t fall out, we will remove it after approximately 24 hours and perform a new assessment to decide how best to proceed.
Rupturing your amniotic sac (amniotomi)
If your cervix is open 2-3 cm and is soft and shortened, we can rupture your amniotic sac. The flow of the amniotic fluid will stimulate natural contractions. Ordinarily, we wait for an hour or more for contractions to begin. If contractions do not begin, we will insert an infusion with the endogenous hormone (Oxytocin) I.V. in your arm.
Hormone I.V. (Oxytocin)
When your waters have broken but your contractions have not yet started, we will start an infusion with the hormone Oxytocin I.V. in your arm. Usually, we will leave this I.V. in throughout your delivery and will monitor your baby’s heartbeat using a CTG machine.
Useful items to bring with you
- Indoor slippers
- Bath robe or similar
- Pre-prepared meals (in your own cooling box)
- Hat and clothes for your baby to wear on the way home
- Money for parking or a credit card
If you have any questions, please contact your barnmorskemottagning, BMM.
We wish you and your family all the best in welcoming your baby into the world!