​Pregnancy weeks 37 to 40 is the ideal time frame for those having an uncomplicated pregnancy to deliver. It is because, your child would have reached full term between weeks 37 and 40.

However, sometimes, an early labour may be necessary. It is all about balancing the risks to you and your child. In these cases, labour is induced on purpose.

Why is labour induced?

There are many reasons why labour is induced. They include:

  • Pre-eclampsia (which you have read about in pregnancy week 20)
  • Gestational diabetes with large babies
  • Post-dates (when your pregnancy goes past the expected due date)

Induction can be carried out in a variety of ways:

  1. Applying medication directly to your cervix to make it dilate
  2. Bursting your water bag to precipitate labour
  3. Connecting you to a drip to administer an infusion that will augment your uterine contractions

With any procedure, there are risks involved (including the risks of a natural birth). Usually your doctor will explain these to you beforehand.

What if your baby was delivered by an induced birth?

Newborns delivered by an induced birth before reaching term, may require a short stint in the special care nursery for some basic checks and to ensure everything is alright. This would depend on how premature they are and whether they are thriving well.

Ref: M19