There are many reasons that labour needs to be induced, the most common reasons include:

  • Baby is overdue (40 weeks + 10 days)

  • Your waters have broken and you have GBS (or your body hasn’t gone into labour naturally after a certain time period)

  • There has been reduced movements (meaning mum hasn’t felt baby move as much as normal) 

Induction of labour looks different for every woman, depending on the hospital, your history and your health care provider. Here is the most common practices you can expect to see. 

The main aim with induction is to firstly get your cervix open enough to ‘break your waters’. To help the cervix open, there are two things that are generally done. 

Cooks catheter: This manually opens the cervix, using a small balloon filled with water. It is normally left in for 12 hours or until it falls out meaning the cervix is open enough for the balloon to pass through.

Prostaglandin gel on the cervix: A small pessary (so small you won’t feel it) is put touching the base of the cervix through a vaginal examination.

The pessary releases hormones that help to soften the cervix and ultimately open. 

Once the cervix is open enough (or if a woman has already had a baby before and her cervix remains slightly open), the midwife or obstetrician will break your waters to get the induction process underway. 

Oxytocin drip: This drip is connected to a cannula and essentially mimics your own hormones that create labour (oxytocin). It is started at a very low dosage ensuring your body and baby remain happy. The drip is increased until you have strong, rhythmical contractions and continues until bub is born. 

Induction of labour is a process so before you start, make sure you have a very good understanding of what it entails, how you or baby might feel and react and if it is the right choice for you. You’ve got this mama, let’s meet this gorgeous baby of yours.