Induction of labour



What is Induction of labour and why would I need it?

Induction of labour (IOL) is when your labour is medically started for a variety of reasons, including;

  • Being overdue - usually between 41 weeks and 4 days and 42 weeks of pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Medical conditions
  • Maternal request (depending on the circumstances)
  • Pre labour rupture of membranes - usually 24 hours after waters have broken in the absence of contractions.
  • Premature pre-labour rupture of membranes if there is a risk of sepsis to mother or baby.

The methods offered for inducation will depend on individual circumstances and will be discussed and explained before asking for your consent. They typically include;

  • Membrane sweep a vaginal examination offered from 40 weeks to assess the cervix.
  • A prostaglandin hormone based pessary/gel which is offered to soften and shorten the cervix.
  • Amniotomy artificial rupture of membranes once the cervix is favourable enough.
  • Syntocinon drip a synthetic oxytocin hormone based drip used to help stimulate contractions once the waters have been broken and the cervix is favourable enough.

You do not have to be induced and if you feel that you would rather not undergo induction then you should discuss this with your midwife.