Labor Induction, quite simply put, is the artificial stimulation of labor in a pregnant woman. The reasons as to why it's prescribed can be various - delay in the natural course of labor, any infections in the uterus (that may be harmful for the baby or the mother), the baby has overgrown due to delay of natural labor, or simply if you just wish to be induced for personal reasons.
The doctors in charge of the mother’s maternity case has to look into many aspects of the mother’s and the baby’s health, along with baby’s gestational age and size, the position of the fetus in the uterus and the status of the mother’s cervix. This helps the doctor decide whether labor induction is a possibility or not.
And although even with every caution and measures aptly taken, the process of labor induction still could impose many such risks. Let’s have a look at them, shall we?
14 You’ll Be More Vulnerable
When a baby is ready to be taken out, it signals the mind and body of the mother. In the process, many psychological and emotional changes begin to happen. All of that helps the mother to go through labor as naturally comfortable as possible. Altering that process artificially would cause unnecessary stress on the body of the mother and the baby. Read more about preparing yourself for labor induction here.
13 The Pain Will Be Intense and Prolonged
The contractions will be longer, stronger and closer. And since your cervix is soft and open when active labor begins, women who are induced are more likely to ask for an epidural or have an assisted delivery, where the baby is pulsed out via forceps. Read this article on how to ease your pain during the process.
12 Infections and/or Complications
If you think the procedure’s safe for you, think again. It comes with its own set of infections that can hurt the mother, during and after the childbirth like, water intoxication, abnormal heart rates, anaphylaxis, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, post partum hemorrhage among others.
11 Low Heart Rate of the Baby
Oxytocin or prostaglandin are the most common medications that are used to induce labor in women. However, sometimes they can result in too many contractions, which in turn can hurt the baby’s oxygen supply, thus lowering its heart rates. And you don’t need us to tell you that this isn’t exactly a very good thing.
10 The Umbilical Cord Prolapse
The Umbilical Cord Prolapse is a situation in which the baby's umbilical cord slips into the vagina before the delivery, which would compress the cord up and decrease the baby’s oxygen supply. It’s not very common, but it’s not uncommon enough either for you to breathe a sigh of relief. Read more about it here.
9 The Non-Stop Bleeding
The induction drugs heavily damage the uterus, thus it remains in no shape to handle the delivery process as it's supposed to do naturally. This means that induced labor could make the mother lose a lot of blood during and even after the childbirth. This could become fatal for the mother if not handled correctly and by professional doctors.
8 Cesarean Delivery
Labor induction automatically puts you at a high risk for a cesarean delivery, and if you’re wondering what the chances are – they’re 50-50. This is because many, many induced labors fail during the whole process, and to save the mother or the baby (and ideally both) cesarean becomes the only choice.
7 Lack of A Natural Birth Experience
A woman, when going to become a first time mom, must go through the natural order of her pregnancy experience. This includes her physical and emotional transformation, along with her bonding with her unborn baby. However, when labor is artificially induced, she has to forgo a lot of natural experiences just to give birth, and even though it’s painful, that’s something a lot of women end up regretting not doing.
6 Uterine Rupture
It's a rare occurrence, but a very serious complication nonetheless. Here, the uterus gets torn open along the scar lines of a previous C-section or any major uterine surgery. After this happens, an emergency C-section is needed to prevent the fatal complications. And things can get very messy pretty quickly.
The number of damages the uterus has to go through with the labor induction process (what with all those heavy drugs and unnecessary stress) may very well make the mother incapable to ever be fertile again.
4 It’s Very Costly
It's a very costly process because you end up paying for a lot more medications, equipments and services coming than if you were undergoing the childbirth naturally. If you can afford the medical care, great! If you can’t, then you obviously have to think 10 times before undergoing this procedure.
3 Premature Baby
If you think that after going through so much and paying a lot of money you’ll be hearing the end of your troubles, think again! Labor induction poses a serious threat of delivering a premature baby. The thing is, in the last few days of the natural birth process the baby is still in the development process. Even when the baby is in labor, the final touches to its development are constantly happening. Suddenly shortening that process could cause some serious affect on the baby’s overall health and development later in its life.
2 A Cascade of Other Hassles
We’ve already mentioned that you have to take a plethora of medicines in quite a high dosage to open up the cervix, along with narcotics for pain, continuous fetal monitoring, anesthesia and what not. Some women’s bodies are able to handles these drugs very well, but there’s an equal number of women on whose bodies their ill-effects start manifesting gradually. They may end up affecting you both mentally and physically.
Stillbirths are rare -- they happen in only 1 in 200 pregnancies, but if the process of artificial labor induction is not handled by professionals under extreme medical supervision, you will end up pushing your stillborn vaginally. To know more about this painful process, click here.