Michael H. Bereston, Inc.

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Understanding the guidelines for labor induction

It may seem to some in Annapolis that recent scientific advances (coupled with a better general understanding of the birthing process) have made having a baby seem relatively routine. However, many of the complications commonly associated with labor today are a direct result of the current methods doctors use to deliver babies. In the past, all of those involved in a delivery were seemingly at the mercy of Mother Nature to initiate the process. However, today's providers often rely on induction methods to help faciltate delivery in certain cases. 

Labor induction can be done through either the administration of medications that induce contractions or by artificically ruptering the membranes that compose the amniotic sac. According to information shared by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, induction occurs in nearly 22 percent of pregnancies in the U.S. The common school of thought is that labor is only induced in cases where a mother has passed her expected due date (indeed, ACOG states that elective induction should not occur before 39 weeks of pregnancy has passed). Yet ACOG has also established a number of factors which should be considered before resulting to induction. These include cases where there may be a severe fetal growth restriction, or the mother sufffers from any of the following conditions: 

  • Gestational or chronic hypertension 
  • Preeclampsia
  • Eclampsia
  • Diabetes

In addition, doctors may also take certain non-clinical factors into account when considering induction, such as when a patient lives far enough away from a hospital that allowing labor to begin naturally is a concern. 

The Mayo Clinic states that there are risks associated with inducing labor, such as uterine rupture, fetal heart rate problems, the potential for infection, or severe postpartum bleeding. These risks place a greater responsibility on providers to only induce labor when it is absolutely necessary. 

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Michael H. Bereston, Inc.
138 Main Street, Suite 200
P.O. Box 2990
Annapolis, MD 21401

Maryland: 410-793-4554
Toll Free: 866-517-4037
Baltimore/Annapolis: 410-269-5011
DC: 202-628-2226
Fax: 410-269-5022

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