When the pregnancy has come to an end in time, and the birth has not yet occurred or labor is too weak, there is a need to stimulate labor. Stimulation of childbirth – a natural or artificial acceleration of the activation of labor through the introduction of medications or certain procedures.
Indications for stimulation of labor
The stimulation of labor is used in the case when a woman cannot give birth on her own due to the presence of such factors: overweight of the fetus or mother, the presence of some serious diseases in the anamnesis (diabetes), placental abruption, early discharge of amniotic fluid, etc.
Obligatory stimulation of labor is carried out with placental abruption, when there is a chance of bleeding and the life of the fetus is at risk. Stimulate labor, when pregnancy is postponed, and childbirth does not occur. Rare irregular contractions or their complete cessation, cases when a woman is completely exhausted after contractions is also an occasion for stimulating childbirth. Large-growth and polyhydramnios is an indication for artificial stimulation, since in this case the birth can be delayed, and there is a likelihood of hypoxia in the fetus.
Artificial methods of stimulation of labor
During childbirth, the doctor observes the progress of labor: palpates the woman’s belly, determines the frequency and number of contractions, and their duration. The most accurate indicator is the opening of the cervix. If the cervix opens too slowly or the opening has stopped, then, if necessary, labor is stimulated.
Stimulation of labor can be carried out using:
- prostaglandins (gel, suppositories);
- mifepristone, pencrofton, miropriston.
To open the cervix, hormonal analogues are used that contribute to the opening and maturation of the cervix. The most effective and common drug is oxytocin. It relates to a method of artificial stimulation of labor through intravenous administration. It is used for weak labor, as a stimulation of lactation, as a remedy for postpartum hemorrhages.
There are some contraindications against the use of oxytocin. So, it can not be prescribed if the woman has a very narrow pelvis or there is an anomaly in the position of the fetus. There is also the possibility of an overdose or side effects due to inaccuracies in dosage. As a side effect, excessive contractions of the cervix may appear, which leads to impaired blood circulation and fetal hypoxia. Bleeding may develop.
Prostaglandins are used in medical practice as a means to stimulate labor. They are prescribed in cases when the cervix is not ready for disclosure. Normally, prostaglandins are found in the amniotic fluid, and in small quantities in the tissues of the body.
The safest is the use of a rhodostimulating agent in the form of a gel or candles – this method is the most gentle and effective. A gel to stimulate labor, which includes prostaglandins, helps to improve hormonal levels and prepare the cervix for opening and giving birth. Labor activity occurs within 4 hours after administration of the gel. Under the influence of oxytocin, the contraction of the cervix is stimulated, and pain is mitigated.
The gel is injected with a vaginally sterile syringe into the posterior wall of the vagina. After this, the woman needs to lie down, in order to avoid leakage of the gel out. If you enter the gel directly into the cervix, there is a possibility of hyperstimulation of labor. In the absence of the proper effect after 6 hours, repeated application of the gel is carried out. The maximum dose of gel administered is not more than 3 ml in total.
Although the gel, as a delivery aid, has good reviews, there are still a number of contraindications to the use of this gel. These include presentation of the fetus, a clinically narrow pelvis in a woman, the presence of indications for cesarean section.
Amniotomy is a fairly widespread method of accelerating and stimulating labor. Its essence is that a woman is pierced by the fetal bladder using a special sterile instrument (like a hook).
This procedure takes no more than 3 minutes, it is completely painless. For this, the woman in labor lies in a chair, and the doctor conducts a puncture. Immediately after a puncture of the fetal bladder, the pressure of the baby’s head on the uterus increases, which leads to the opening of the cervix, and early delivery. Amniotomy has no specific contraindications.
In some cases, for the artificial stimulation of labor, a woman is prescribed to take drugs such as mifepristone, pencrofton and miropriston. All these pills are designed to abort pregnancy, but in the later stages are used as stimulating and labor-boosting drugs. Whether to take such pills or not is decided only by the doctor, based on the general condition of the woman in labor and the situation in general. Before making such a decision, the doctor will conduct a thorough examination of the woman in labor, evaluate the quantity and quality of contractions, the opening of the cervix, and only after that a decision will be made about the need for medical intervention. Because the best for mother and baby are natural births, without medical intervention.
Mifepristone is taken only under the supervision of a doctor in a medical institution. Reception of mifepristone leads to uterine contractions, the opening of the cervix and expulsion of the fetus. In the same way, during stimulation of labor, pencrofton and miropriston act.
Artificial stimulation of labor is carried out only when necessary, when it is necessary for the well-being of the child and mother. An artificial birth is always much more painful than a natural birth, contractions can become very strong at the same time, and this will lead to a decrease in the oxygen supply to the baby. Therefore, the doctor always carefully weighs the pros and cons of carrying out such manipulations.
Natural stimulation of childbirth is carried out to prepare for childbirth of the cervix, as well as in cases of prolonged pregnancy. The date of the onset of labor, set by the doctor, is not always accurate, but is only indicative. Generally, the difference is about 10 days. When the first precursors of labor appear, preparation for natural stimulation can begin.
When the time comes, the cervix becomes shortened, the body softens. Drawing pains in the lumbar region, frequent urination. The child becomes less mobile.
Natural stimulation of childbirth does not harm the baby in any way and helps reduce pain during childbirth and speed up the process.
Natural stimulation methods
Natural methods of generic stimulation include nipple stimulation. This method helps to naturally produce the hormone oxytocin, which helps to reduce the uterus. To do this, it is enough to do a nipple massage every day for 5 or 10 minutes. The procedure can be performed once or twice a day.
Walking in the fresh air or light physical activity helps to achieve the desired result, but the main thing is to observe a sense of proportion and not harm.
Eating should be high in fiber in order to cleanse the intestines and cause uterine contractions.
During contractions, lumbar massage is recommended. It will help relieve pain and stimulate contractions.
Walking will help stimulate the opening of the cervix. When contractions begin, you must move. Lying down will only slow down the whole process.
The main thing is to breathe correctly. Proper breathing will enhance the contractions themselves and their frequency. For this, breathing must be deep and even.
Alternative methods of stimulation
Folk methods of stimulating childbirth include such means as castor oil (castor oil), champagne, the use of kelp, etc.
At home, birth control can be done with oil such as castor oil. Castor oil, in connection with its relaxing effect, can lead to the opening of the cervix and bring birth closer if you take it in large quantities. To stimulate childbirth, you need to drink 1 tablespoon of castor oil. But still, modern medicine is against a drug such as castor oil, because castor oil can cause diarrhea and lead to dehydration (castor oil is also used as a laxative).
Castor is not considered a good and suitable means to stimulate labor. More gentle and more effective methods than castor oil or castor oil can be used to stimulate labor.
It is possible to approximate the birth process in a natural way at home with the help of a special diet, which includes fiber-rich foods. In this sense, seaweed (or in other words kelp) is very good. Laminaria contains a large amount of iodine. And vitamins and elements contained in kelp are in no way inferior to expensive vitamin preparations. To provide a relaxing effect, it is enough to eat a little kelp, and it will have a stimulating effect on the body.
Laminaria during obstetric care is used not only at home in official medicine. In order to make it convenient to use kelp, they are formed into sticks 6–9 cm long. Laminaria absorb moisture well, so when they are placed in the vagina, they expand the cervical canal. In addition, it is believed that kelp promotes the production of prostaglandin, which expands and softens the cervical canal.
Laminaria is used in two stages: at first 6 sticks are inserted for 16 hours, and if childbirth has not begun, then these sticks are removed and another 6-12 sticks are inserted for the next 16 hours.
It is believed that taking a small dose of alcohol has a relaxing effect on the body and leads to a natural acceleration of labor. This is partly true. For example, if you drink a little red wine this will not harm the baby and will help bring the contractions closer. It is not recommended to take champagne. Champagne does not have the necessary effect on the body and can only do harm. Therefore, doctors are against this method.