Health Tip: When Labor May Be Induced

-- Labor is induced in about 20 percent of U.S. pregnant women, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says.

Labor may be induced -- causing the woman's cervix to open in preparation for a vaginal birth -- if the health of the mother or baby is threatened, the ACOG says. Here are some possible reasons for labor induction:

  • If the woman is more than 42 weeks pregnant.
  • If the woman has pregnancy-related high blood pressure.
  • If the woman has a uterine infection.
  • If the woman has a condition called placental abruption, where the placenta pulls away from the inner wall of the uterus. This may actually lead doctors to decide to deliver the baby by Cesarean section.
  • If the woman's water breaks too early.

Posted: August 2009


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