Induction of labour is the process of using drugs or other methods to encourage labour to start artificially rather than waiting for labour to start naturally.
You will be able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of being induced with your midwife and a doctor ahead of time.
Induction of labour is usually offered because continuing with the pregnancy may cause risks to you or your baby's health. These are some of the common reasons why induction may be offered to you:
Induction of labour is usually planned in advance. Your LMC will arrange for you to be admitted to hospital as an in-patient.
The process of induction can be different for everyone. Most women will have their babies within 24 hours; for others induction may take up to two to three days.
If you require an induction of labour, you may consider being part of our Oblige Induction of Labour trial. For more information, take a look at the Oblige website(external link).
For more information on being induced, refer to the sections below.
Stretch and sweep is a examination that maybe done prior to or during the induction to encourage labour. It is a vaginal examination where the midwife or doctor inserts a finger through the cervix, if possible, separating the membranes from the uterus without breaking them. The UK National Health Service has produced a video about stretch and sweep.
There are a range of methods that can be used to induce your labour:
During your induction your baby's heart beat will be monitored with a Cardiotocograph (CTG) machine. You will also have an IV line (a drip) inserted in your hand or arm.
While you are waiting for labour to start, you can eat, drink and walk around. It's important to drink plenty of fluids.
Yes, your partner and family/whanau are welcome to be involved. If you choose to bring your children, it is important that someone other than yourself and your partner is available to look after them.