What expectations should I have about induction of labour?
Your midwife or obstetrician should explain to you why you are being offered induction of labour. You should also discussed about the risks and benefits, the alternatives, when, where and how the induction of labour can be done . It is also important to discuss about the types of pain relief you would prefer for the induction of labour.
You will usually be admitted to the birthing centre, preferably with facilities for Emergency caesarean section should complications arise. Your midwife or obstetrician will check your baby’s heartbeat using sensors attached to your tummy (Cardiotocograph tracing or CTG). Your midwife or obstetrician will examine your cervix before the procedure.
If you have prostaglandin inserted vaginally for induction of labour, you will need to lie in the bed for an hour to allow the prostaglandin pessary to dissolve and being absorbed. After one hour, your midwife will check your baby’s heartbeat again by using the CTG tracing. Your baby’s heart rate should be checked again when contractions begin.
The midwife or obstetrician will re-examine you in 6-8 hours after the insertion of prostaglandin pessary. However, if your contractions become strong and regular, there may be a role to examine you earlier. Sometimes you may require more than 1 dose of prostaglandin to get your labour started.
If you required oxytocin to start off your labour, this is usually done in the labour ward whereby oxytocin infusion is given intravenously. Your baby’s heart rate will be monitored continuously by CTG tracing.
Will I feel a lot of pain during induction of labour?
Induced labour are often more painful than spontaneous labours. You should discuss with your healthcare providers whatever pain relief is appropriate to you. Please refer to the page on pain relief in labour
What if the induction of labour doesn’t work?
If you don’t go into labour after induction, your midwife or obstetrician will discuss this with you. After a thorough check on you and your baby, and depending on your circumstances and wishes, you may be offered another dose of prostaglandins or a caesarean section