You are now at 40 weeks and still no baby. You seem to get bigger and more swollen every day, and your baby’s feet are constantly poking you in the ribs. You just don’t think you can take this anymore. You want to be induced today!
This scenario is a common story, especially for first time moms. But will your doctor induce? It depends on the doctor. Some doctors will induce right at 40 weeks if you have not had your baby. More often than not, they will require you to wait it out a little longer, no matter how you beg.
Many doctors believe it is in your best interest to wait as long as they determine is safe, allowing natural labor to take place instead. The risk of induction is that sometimes it just doesn’t work and labor is stalled. This leads to a higher cesarean section rate, which is a higher liability for everyone involved.
If your doctor won’t induce at 40 weeks, don’t fret. You will also find that most doctors won’t allow you to go past 41 – 42 weeks. They know that it is also dangerous to deliver a baby that is too big, also leading to a higher cesarean risk.
During your weekly exams, be sure to discuss with your doctor or midwife when they will consider induction. Also discuss which of the following methods he may use to induce labor if it comes to that.
How will your doctor or midwife induce?
Your doctor or midwife may use a variety of methods to induce your labor including:
- Ripen your cervix with prostaglandin medications inserted into the vagina
- Using a Foley catheter to put pressure on the cervix
- Breaking your water, or rupturing the membranes with a plastic hooked instrument
- Administering pitocin, which is a synthetic version of the natural hormone, oxytocin, which stimulates contractions
Find out how your baby is developing every week. Sign up for our FREE Weekly Fetal Development Newsletter. Click here!
Home Methods of Starting Labor
Labor & Delivery: What to Expect
Vaginal Birth after Cesarean: Is it Safe?