Induction of labour describes the artificial stimulation of the onset of labour, which is used in up to 20% of pregnancies in the United Kingdom. Both mechanical and pharmacological methods of induction of labour exist. In the vast majority of women, the recommended method of induction of labour is by the use of vaginal prostaglandin E2. Induction of labour is associated with less maternal satisfaction and potentially increased rates of operative delivery compared with spontaneous vaginal delivery. Therefore, the decision for induction of labour should not be undertaken lightly. Appropriate counselling of the mother with documentation of the provision of information regarding the indications, risks, benefits and alternatives to induction of labour is advocated.
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