Being Induced When Pregnant: Reasons Why You're Induced And Three Ways It Can Be Done

Some pregnant women may need help to get their labour started.

This can occur for many different reasons. According to midwife Miriam Martin, if a woman's pregnancy has gone past her due date by one to two weeks, it's likely she will be induced.

"You might also be induced if you have any medical concerns such as diabetes, kidney disease or pre-eclampsia," she said.

"Sometimes, women are induced if their waters have broken but they haven't gone into labour within a certain amount of time.

"This is to prevent infection to you or your baby."

Martin explained the three different ways a midwife can induce labour.

1. Sweep.

"Most inductions start with a sweep where the midwife will do an internal examination," Martin explained. "She will stretch the cervix, pulling them away from the membranes to help stimulate contractions."

She said a sweep might be uncomfortable for women and a midwife might have to give more than one sweep to help get the labour going.

2. Prostaglandin gel.

Another way of inducing labour is with prostaglandin gel. This is inserted into the vagina to help get contractions going.

Martin said midwives will usually leave women for six hours to wait and see if labour starts. If it doesn't, they will give another load of gel.

She added: "They will monitor the baby throughout the process as well as your contractions to see how the two are coping with each other."

3. Syntocinon.

Martin said if prostaglandin gel doesn't work, a midwife will use a hormone drip called syntocinon. This drip will help the body contract and the cervix to dilate.

To hear more about the three options of inducing labour, watch the video above.

Australian Birth Photography