Risks in Inducing Labor

Inducing labor is something that happens a lot in America. One in five births is born through induction. This term is used for a variety of techniques and often more then one technique is used at each induction. However, inducing labor is something that isn’t without risks.

Risks of medical inductions:

Medical inductions are those done at the hospital and by a doctor. Often times these include one or more medications and may or may not include rupturing the membranes. The biggest risk of these inductions is that the contractions will be too strong, long, or with too short of a break in between. This can cause stress on the uterus and stress on the baby. The baby’s heart rate can drop and the uterus can even rupture (though this is not common and much less likely to happen in women who have never had a Cesarean section or uterine surgery).

It is common for induced labor to be long and difficult. With the chances of exhaustion of the mother, stress to the uterus, and stress to the baby many induced births lead to Cesarean sessions. These can cause their own problems because the mother is already exhausted and the baby and uterus stressed.

In addition to the stress and pain often involved, there is a chance for the mother to experience low blood pressure. This can become serious. Additionally low blood sodium is a possibility. This can lead to seizures.

Risks of home inductions:

While there are some safe methods of encourage labor to begin that is often labeled “inducing labor” these methods tend not to be dangerous and are often not really things that induce labor. They can include walking, sex, food choices, and primrose oil. There are other methods that are more likely to induce labor. Some come highly recommended with years of practice. The only safe one is acupressure which may or may not cause labor, but has no side effects or concerns.

Taking Castor oil has been done for years and years to help induce labor. However, this causes major diarrhea which in turn can cause dehydration and exhaustion. Labor is caused from the contractions of the intestines leading to cramping of the uterus which often turns into labor. However, labor often begins after hours of diarrhea and the woman is likely to become exhausted causing birthing to be difficult with concern of dehydration.

Nipple stimulation is another method of inducing labor at home that has been done for many years. However, it can cause worse reactions then chemical inductions. It is known for over stimulating the uterus and causing contractions to be too strong, uterine stress, and often stress on the baby.

Blue and black cohosh are also used for at home remedies. Blue cohosh is known for increasing the strength of contractions and black is known for increasing the regularity of contractions. There are a few problems with these herbs including the fact that blue cohosh is a blood thinner and can cause a woman to bleed during delivery more then she other wise would. The safety of these herbs is also not known and each company produces products with different amounts of herbs and chemicals that could possibly be damaging.

Whether looking to start your labor at home or facing a medical induction it is important to know that there are risks associated with the process. A medical induction is best because it is done under the care and supervision of your doctor. It also has fewer risks and is more likely to be successful.