Labor Induction: Evaluating Risk and Necessity

The end of pregnancy can be tough. Not only are you ready to meet your baby, but you may also be getting very physically uncomfortable as the third trimester nears its end. Whether it is out of discomfort, excitement or scheduling convenience, many pregnant moms want to know their options for inducing labor. Labor induction involves a scheduled medical intervention to induce or provoke labor earlier than the full 40-week term of a pregnancy. The rate of induction of labor in the U.S. has risen from 9.6% in 1990 to 25.7% in 2018, including 31.7% of first-time births.

Inducing labor, however, should not be a flippant or casual decision. Labor induction comes with notable risks that must be clearly understood – especially if it is performed without medical cause.

The Danger of Elective Labor Induction

Labor induction involves interventional therapy to stimulate uterine contractions and promote labor before the body naturally does so on its own. This can be achieved with pharmaceutical medicines that ripen the cervix and typically involves a physician breaking the water sac. While labor induction can be done safely and successfully, it does not come without risks. A baby needs the full 40-week term of pregnancy to fully develop, especially in terms of the lungs and mental development.

Elective labor induction, or inducing without medical cause, poses the following risks to both mother and baby:

  • Increased risk of NICU admittance
  • Higher chance of prematurity
  • Higher chance of jaundice
  • Low heart rate
  • Umbilical cord complications
  • Increased risk for a C-section birth
  • Uterine rupture
  • Bleeding after delivery
  • Infection risk for mother and baby

When is Labor Induction Necessary?

There is a time and reason for labor induction. In fact, there are medical situations in which inducing the labor prior to 40 weeks offers more benefits than risks. The following are situations in which there is medical necessity for labor induction:

  • Decreased fetal movement
  • High blood pressure (preeclampsia)
  • Hypertension gestational diabetes
  • Fetal growth restriction
  • Placental abruption
  • Broken water bag while not being in labor
  • Beyond 41+ weeks of pregnancy (post-date induction)

At North Point OB/GYN, our providers put the health and safety of you and your baby as our highest priority. When it comes to schedule labor and delivery, we use our expansive knowledge and expertise in obstetrics to make the best decision for the timing of delivery.  If intervening with labor induction is necessary, you can trust us to perform this step with unrivaled care. Call today to learn more about whether labor induction is right for you.

Breast Cancer Screening: Doing Your Part at Home

As a woman, you can’t always rely on your physician or annual imaging to detect abnormal breast tissue. While these scheduled mammograms and breast exams are highly recommended and effective when detecting early breast cancer, it doesn’t mean you can dismiss your part in between visits. When it comes to breast cancer detection, you have a job to do. This includes breast self-exams at home. How well do you know your breasts? Could you detect changes if they occur?

Here are some general guidelines for this type of do-it-yourself breast cancer screening:

  • Know what your breasts should look like. Any change in shape, size and color or seeing bulging skin, nipple position changes, redness or soreness could be a clue to go get checked.
  • Look in the mirror straight on and from both sides. Then raise your arms and look for the same changes in tissue or skin.
  • Lie down and feel the breast tissue. Use the opposite hand for the breast you are checking. Using your fingertips, massage in small circular motions to check for any lumps on the entire breast. 
  • Be comprehensive when you perform a breast self-exam, include the breast tissue around your collarbone, abdomen, armpit and cleavage area. 

Repeat this same self-exam while standing, since your tissues will naturally shift into a new position.

Do you notice changes in the way your breasts look or feel? Don’t ignore it. We want to see you at North Pointe OB/GYN Associates when you need breast cancer screenings. This is a prevalent and deadly cancer that can be treated when it is in the early stages. To learn more about your personal risk for breast cancer or to schedule a breast cancer screening at our Cumming office, please call us today.

Call us at 770-886-3555 to request your appointment today!

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Our Cumming Office

The office of North Pointe OB/GYN Associates is located on the Northside Hospital-Forsyth campus, and we perform deliveries at the Women's Center at Northside Hospital-Forsyth.

  • Address

  • 1800 Northside Forsyth Dr.
    Suite 350
    Cumming, GA 30041
  • Office Hours

  • Monday - Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
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