Every delivery is as unique as each baby that is born. Many practitioners consider the ideal situation for a mom-to-be to be dilated to three centimeters before heading off to the delivery, although this varies from doctor to doctor and patient to patient.
Upon arrival for induction, the mother is usually given Pitocin through an I.V. Pitocin can make the contractions intensify and if you have chosen to use medication for some relief, pain medications might be added to the I.V., or analgesics like Statol or Nubane might be given orally or an epidural could be administered if you choose.
Medications Used in Labor
- Pitocin is the synthetic form of oxytocin, our contraction-causing hormone. Both the natural and synthetic versionsinitiate and increase labor by making contractions stronger and more frequent. According to Dr.Spock.com, Usually Pitocin is started at a low dose, and increased every 15-60 minutes until normal labor patterns begin.
- Analgesics like Nubane and Statol are helpful, but can have side effects on both mother and baby. If you opt to take these types of medications, you and baby will probably both me monitored for blood pressure changes and other things. Additional side effects include nausea and drowsiness, even for baby. This type of medication can also slow down the labor and dilation, even if the Pitocin is trying to speed it up. So more Pitocin may be required.
- An Epidural usualy requires you have to be already dilated to between 4-8 cm. If you have an epidural, you and baby both need to be constantly monitored. The epidural requires Mom stay put in the bed as she is numb from the waist down. By contrast, walking around upright speeds up labor. So laying still and horizontal can make the labor process longer. Again, sometimes more Pitocin is added in that case.
Other Procedures and Considerations
Another aspect of epidurals is that usually a catheter must be used to relieve your bladder. Some moms don’t like this option either, but it’s necessary if you are numb below the waist.
If you are induced and your water has not yet broken, some doctors will they do what is called an amniotomy where a long crochet-hook device is inserted and your breaks it for you. This is usually painless. Once the water breaks, Mom starts losing her amniotic fluid around the baby. If you haven’t delivered within 24 hours after an amniotomy, a Caesarean Section will be scheduled because the baby is more at risk for getting infection after that time. C-sections ideally account for only about fifteen percent or less of deliveries, according to the Word Health Organization, although that number is higher is some areas.
Delivery and Beyond
Once natural labor begins, your body should take over with Oxytocin and Pitocin and other medications may be reduced. As you move from the first stage of labor, called the Active Phase, into the Second or Latent Stage, pushing, delivery and birth hopefully progress rapidly. Some women push with lots of energy and enthusiasm and can become exhausted quickly. Having a good plan for this phase, being prepared and practiced, will help reduce anxiety in this stage as we