Most labours start naturally between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy. An induced labour is one that is started artificially. About 1 in 3 labours in England are started in this way.
An induction may be recommended for several reasons:
Labour has not started naturally by 41 weeks
You have a medical condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure
There are signs that your baby’s growth or placenta may be affected
Your baby’s movements have reduced at the end of pregnancy
To reduce the chance of infection if your waters have broken and labour has not started within 24 hours or your baby has done a poo (“meconium”) inside the womb
You are 40 years old or more
The aim of induction is to reduce the chance of health problems for you or your baby. Your doctor or midwife will explain the reasons for recommending an induction for you, including risks and benefits.
There are several methods that can be used to induce labour. Which method is offered to you will depend on your and your baby’s individual circumstances.
Some women have the option to begin the induction process at home.Being at home reduces your hospital stay and means you can start the induction process in your own surroundings, which you may find more relaxing.
Alternatively, you may be advised to stay on the antenatal ward, so that we can monitor your and your baby’s well-being more closely.
It is your choice whether or not to have your labour induced. If you decide you do not want to be induced, you will be offered a conversation with a doctor or senior midwife to make a personalised care plan.
To find out more about induction of labour, you can book to attend one of our free online workshops.
This one-hour midwife-led online workshop is for anyone booked for an induction of labour at Kingston Maternity Unit. It is an opportunity to learn about the process of induction, the different methods that may be offered, what to expect during your stay with us, what to bring, and ways to make the experience a positive one.
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