Induction of Labor
By Craig Bissinger, MD
Morristown Memorial Hospital, Morristown, NJ
What is Induction?
Initiating labor in a pregnant woman without contractions seems to be a simple way to explain induction of labor. For many women, induction is becoming increasingly more common. In fact, induction has been on the increase during the past decade. From 1989 until 1995, there has been a 77 percent increase in the number of inductions.
This is one of the most important questions to understand regarding induction. As physicians, we have become very comfortable with intervention in pregnancy. Initiating labor can be very simple. It is becoming so commonplace that it can lull us into misusing the process of induction. Therefore, I think it is very important to have a medical reason to induce a patient.
Reasons to induce include:
* Overdue (at least one to two weeks)
* Toxemia (elevated blood pressure)
* Premature rupture of the amniotic sac
* Infection in the uterus (chorioamnionitis)
* Problems with the baby's growth
* Low amniotic fluid (oligiohydramnios)
* Excessively large baby (macrosomia)
* Prior poor obstetrical history (prior stillborn)
* Underlying medical condition in the mother (high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease, etc.)
This list represents the most common indications to deliver a baby. There are many other factors to consider when deciding to induce someone.
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