The browser you are using is too old for our website. Please visit www.aptaclub.ie from Chrome and you will be able to browse normally.

Pregnancy

      Induction of labour: What you need to know

      Pregnancy Mum Holding Bump White

      Induction of labour: What you need to know

      Summary

      Did you know that, 1 in 5 labours are induced?1 So, if you’re overdue and concerned about having labour induced, there’s really nothing to worry about. We’ve explained everything that you need to know about the induction process below, so you can feel prepared and ready to embrace labour.

      How to induce labour

      Whilst you may have heard that there are certain natural ways to induce labour – such as having sex, eating spicy foods and taking hot baths – unfortunately, there are no scientifically proven ways to bring on labour yourself.

       

      Membrane sweep

      Membrane sweep, cervical sweep, pregnancy sweep, stretch and sweep – they all mean the same thing and are offered ahead of induction of labour. This involves your midwife or doctor sweeping their finger around your cervix during an internal examination to separate the membranes of the amniotic sac surrounding your baby from your cervix. The hormones released during this separation may help to bring on labour.

      Rest assured, this process doesn’t hurt, but you might feel some discomfort or experience slight bleeding afterwards. If labour doesn’t start after a sweep, you may be offered another sweep or an induction – which you can decline, if you wish. You may also go into labour naturally at a later time.

      You might be induced if you’re overdue, your waters have broken, or if you or your baby has a health problem.

      Being induced

      What does it mean to be induced? An induced pregnancy is one that’s started artificially. 1 in 5 labours are induced, so it’s completely normal. You might be induced if you’re overdue, your waters have broken, or if you or your baby has a health problem.

      Pessary induction is always carried out in a hospital maternity unit. A pessary, tablet or gel will be inserted into your vagina to start contractions. If you have a vaginal tablet or gel, you may be allowed to go home while you wait for it to work, as it can take a while.

      If you haven’t had any contractions after 6 hours, you might be offered another tablet, more gel or a Syntocinon drip in some instances. If you have a controlled-release pessary inserted into your vagina, it can take 24 hours to work. If you aren't having contractions after 24 hours, you may be offered another dose.

       

      If you haven’t had any contractions after 6 hours, you might be offered another tablet, more gel or a Syntocinon drip in some instances.

      NEXT STEPS

      Whilst you’re waiting to be induced, why not take the time to:

      1. HSE. Inducing labour Online. Available at: https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/child-health/inducing-labour.html/ Accessed: October 2018.

      Last reviewed: 5th February 2021.

       

      Your baby's future health begins here

      Your baby's future health begins here

      At Aptaclub, we believe that experience helps to build resilience; that
      each new encounter, whether in pregnancy or after birth, can shape your
      baby’s future development. With our scientific expertise and one-to-one
      round the clock support, we can help you and your baby embrace tomorrow.

      Join Aptaclub

      Related articles

      Questions about feeding and nutrition?

      Our nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to talk about feeding your baby. So if you have a question, just get in touch.

      Your privacy is important to us and therefore we would like to explain how we use cookies on this website. With your consent, we will use cookies to measure and analyse how our website is used (analytical cookies), to tailor it to your interests (personalisation cookies), and to show you relevant advertising and information (targeting cookies) we think you will like. For more information please read the cookie statement.

      Privacy Settings

      You can choose your preferences anytime for cookies and tracking. For more information please read our cookie policy.

      • Strictly necessary

        They are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services (setting your privacy preferences, logging in, filling in forms, etc.). You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work.

      • Analytical cookies

        They allow us to count visits and traffic sources, to measure and improve the performance of our site. They show us which pages are the most and least popular and how visitors move around the site. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.

      • Personalisation cookies

        They enable website’s enhanced functionality and personalization. They may be set by us or by third parties whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, some or all of these services may not function properly.

      • Targeting cookies

        They may be set through our site by our advertising partners, to build a profile of your interests and to show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.