39 Weeks Pregnant Ways To Induce Labor – If labor doesn’t start on its own, your doctor may prescribe medications and use other techniques to induce (trigger) contractions.
Your doctor may recommend labor induction when the risk of waiting for labor to start spontaneously is higher than the risk of having to undergo the labor induction procedure. Induction may occur at the due date or in some cases earlier if the risk of continuing the pregnancy is greater than the risk of early delivery.
- 1 39 Weeks Pregnant Ways To Induce Labor
- 2 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms And Baby Development
- 3 How I Am Naturally Inducing Labor · Nourished With Nina
- 4 Exercises To Induce Labor
39 Weeks Pregnant Ways To Induce Labor
You may also choose to have a planned birth for logistical reasons – for example, if you live far from a hospital or you know you’re going into labor very quickly. In this situation, your doctor should wait until at least 39 weeks of pregnancy to schedule an induction (more on this below).
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In the United States, just over 31 percent of workers were induced in 2020, more than three times the rate (9.5 percent) in 1990. This can largely be explained by the fact that the high-risk population is now larger – with growth. obesity rates, advanced maternal age and chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
In some cases, your doctor may offer induction at 39 weeks of pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says that in low-risk pregnancies, induction of labor may be considered at 39 weeks.
If you are interested, talk to your doctor about whether an induction at 39 weeks would be appropriate for your specific situation.
How your provider induces labor depends largely on how dilated and effaced your cervix is at that time. If your cervix does not begin to efface (become soft and thinner) or dilate (open), it is considered “immature,” which means you are not ready to give birth. Your doctor will check your cervix and plan accordingly.
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If your cervix is not mature, your doctor will use medications or a “mechanical” method (see below) to mature your cervix before starting induction. This often shortens the time it takes to give birth and may also result in quicker labor.
If your cervix is very ripe and ready for labor, there is a small chance that the rupture of the membranes alone will be enough to trigger contractions. If this does not happen, your supplier will:
Use oxytocin (Pitocin). Oxytocin is a hormone that causes the uterus to contract. Your doctor may give you oxytocin through an intravenous pump to start contractions or speed up labor, if necessary, after contractions start. Can adjust the amount needed according to the progress of labor.
It depends. The time it takes to return to active labor after induction varies greatly.
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Your doctor will usually continue to administer medications or use a mechanical method of puberty, such as a cervical balloon, for up to 12 hours unless active labor starts earlier or there are problems with the baby’s heart rate. After 12 hours they should be able to give you a rough estimate of how long you can expect before active labor begins.
Once you’ve reached active labor (about 6 centimeters dilated), you’ll most likely continue to dilate for another four to five hours before going into labor if you’re a first-time mom.
While induced women tend to spend more time giving birth in the hospital – perhaps because they admit to being in labor before they are in active labor – the active stages of labor last about the same amount of time for induced and spontaneous labor.
Although induction is generally safe, there are some risks that may vary depending on your individual situation. Here are the possible dangers and difficulties:
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Your doctor should only recommend induction of labor if he or she believes that waiting for labor to start will be riskier for you and your baby than intervening.
Labor should not be induced before 39 weeks unless it is safe for you and your baby to continue the pregnancy.
You will need to have a cesarean section instead of induction whenever labor and premature birth would be unsafe. You may need a C-section if:
Do not try natural methods of starting labor at home without first consulting your doctor or midwife. Some of them – like light exercise or sex (if it’s safe for you now) are harmless. But others – such as drinking castor oil or taking an enema – may cause side effects such as nausea and diarrhea. Other methods – such as herbal remedies and nipple stimulation – can overstimulate the uterus and become dangerous.
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Ask your doctor or midwife what to expect on the day of your induction. You may have gone to the office for a cervical ripening procedure, but when it’s time to receive Pitocin, you will go to the hospital. Your doctor will tell you when to report.
Take your hospital bag with you and go to the maternity ward. Your doctor will see you there either directly or after treatment and management by the hospital’s maternity team.
The labor and delivery nurse will make you comfortable, start an IV, and draw blood for laboratory tests. The provider (your GP or midwife in the hospital, or your doctor or midwife) will assess you and determine the best way to start your implementation.
Bring the entertainment. Some inductions take a very long time to start, especially if the cervix is not ripe to begin with. In this case, you may stay in the hospital for several hours before you feel the first contraction.
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It’s a good idea to bring something to keep you entertained, such as a book or tablet. Consider creating a birthing playlist on your phone – soothing music that distracts and relaxes you. During the initial stages of induction, before contractions become strong and regular, try to dim the lights and minimize noise so you can sleep as much as possible.
Do not rush. You will feel more comfortable if the induction is slow. If you are receiving Pitocin, it may be easier to start with a low dose and gradually increase the dose (every 30 to 45 minutes). This allows you to adjust emotionally and physically as labor progresses.
Use relaxation techniques. Once contractions have started, you can use comfort measures such as relaxation, aromatherapy, massage and positioning.
Don’t hesitate to ask for pain medication or an epidural if you choose. If you want, you can continue to use it without painkillers. But you may prefer to start your epidural before receiving Pitocin. Especially if you have a scheduled induction where you will likely be in labor for a long time, an epidural can give you all the sleep you need.
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ACOG. 2022. Induction of labor. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/labor-inductionOpens a new window [access: January 2023]
ACOG. 2022. Induction of labor at 39 weeks. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/induction-of-labor-at-39-weeksOpens a new window [access: January 2023]
ACOG. 2021. Committee opinion: Approaches to reducing interventions during childbirth. Number 766. https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/committee-opinion/articles/2019/02/approaches-to-limit-intervention-during-labor-and-birthOpens a new window [Accessed January 2023]
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Cunningham FG et al (eds) 2022. Induction and assisted labor. Williams Obstetrics. 26e. McGraw Hill. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/Opens a new window [accessed January 2023].
Grobman WA et al. 2019. Elective induction of labor at 39 weeks compared with expectant management: a meta-analysis of cohort studies.
Kroll-Desrosiers AR et al. 2017. Association of perinatal administration of synthetic oxytocin with depressive and anxiety disorders in the first year after delivery.
Middleton P. et al. 2020. Induction of labor to improve birth outcomes in women at or above 37 weeks of gestation.
How To Induce Labor Naturally
Mishanina E et al. 2014. Use of labor induction and risk of cesarean section: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
DT monks. 2021. Oxytocin: at birth and beyond. A systematic review of the long-term effects of perinatal oxytocin.
Osterman MJK et al. 2022. Births: Final data for 2020. National vital statistics report. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr70/nvsr70-17.pdfOpens a new window [access: January 2023]
Rydahl E et al. 2019. Effects of antenatal labor induction in low-risk pregnancies: a systematic review.
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Souter V et al. 2019. Elective induction of labor in nulliparous women: does the ARRIVE trial change obstetric practice and outcomes?
Karen Miles is an author and pregnancy and parenting expert who has been writing for over 20 years. She is passionate about providing timely and useful information to parents so they can make good decisions for their families. Her favorite performances were “Mama Karen” for her four children and “Nana” for her nine grandchildren.
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