The culmination of normal pregnancy involves three stages: prelabour, cervical ripening and labour. These occur as a continuum rather than as isolated events . Endogenous prostaglandins play a part in all these processes . Interventions to artificially ripen the cervix, induce uterine contractions and augment labour once it is in progress also lack distinct boundaries. This chapter will briefly discuss reasons for these interventions and methods which may be used.
Labour induction and augmentation may be a source of conflict and distress. For most health workers they are seen as routine, technical procedures. For many women, they have emotive connotations, evoking a sense of personal inadequacy and eroded self-esteem. It is important for health workers to approach the question of labour induction with sensitivity, and to involve women in the decision-making process.
Labour induction is one of the most frequent medical procedures in pregnant women. It is a major intervention in the normal course of pregnancy, with the potential to set in motion a cascade of interventions, particularly Caesarean section. However, with modern methods of labour induction, this risk appears to have diminished.
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Once your pregnancy is over and done with, your baby is happily in your arms, and youre headed back home from the hospital, youll begin to realize that things have only just begun. Over the next few days, weeks, and months, youre going to increasingly notice that your entire life has changed in more ways than you could ever imagine.