The majority of healthy pregnant women can expect labour to begin naturally and the process of labour to result in the birth of a healthy baby. However, induction of labour is one of the most common medical interventions in the birth process and it often results in a cascade of further interventions. The Maternity Services Consumer Council has produced a resource to provide consumers with evidence-based information about induction of labour. It is based on the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) 2008 Guideline “Induction of labour.” Information in the resource covers:
- What is induction of labour?
- Reasons for induction
- Methods of induction
- Nonmedical or ‘natural’ methods of induction
- Risks of induction
- The importance of oxytocin, the main birth hormone
Before women consent to induction they should understand why it is being recommended, the risks, benefits and possible consequences of the induction method being offered. While the use of induction is widespread and there are a number of methods available, there is still much that is unknown about the adverse effects of inductions, particularly the long-term impact. This resource helps consumers and their whanau/family make an informed decision about induction.