When you're so close to the pregnancy finish line that you can practically smell that intoxicating newborn baby scent, you may be anxious to get the party started. However, that sweet little one you've been housing for nine plus months doesn't seem ready to be evicted. Perhaps it's time to chat with your doctor or midwife (at one of those many appointments near the end) about quick ways to induce labor.
Just because your medical provider hasn't mentioned this option to you yet, doesn't mean it's out of the question. Depending on your doctor's policy, the point at which she will induce labor can vary. The time frame can range anywhere from a few days after your due date to 42 weeks, according to Parents magazine. This is why starting the conversation early will help you as those last days draw closer. Nothing is worse than getting your hopes up that there's a chance your doc will induce you at 39 weeks, only to have your dreams crushed when she says, "no."
Also, it's important to keep in mind that all not methods of induction kick in right away. Even though it sounds like a glorious solution to not being pregnant anymore, it can still be a waiting game.
Strip The Membranes
I know it sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, but this procedure can be done during your office visit. "With this technique, your health care provider inserts his or her gloved finger beyond the cervical opening and rotates it to separate the amniotic sac from the wall of your uterus," reported Mayo Clinic. But keep in mind this fact: this is more to encourage your body to begin labor on it's own and is considered less of an induction technique compared with the others.
Break Your Water
If you're cervix is showing signs of progress towards labor, but your water hasn't broken, your doctor may speed things up by manually rupturing your membranes. Don't worry, it sounds worse than it actually is. According to What To Expect's website, the doctor will "break the bag of waters that surrounds your baby manually using an instrument that looks like a long crochet hook with a sharp tip. It might feel uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be painful."
Pitocin is the pharmaceutical name for a drug that mimics the production of oxytocin, according to the website for the American Pregnancy Association. Since oxytocin has been proven to stimulate contractions, pregnant woman are given Pitocin (and also Syntocinon) through on IV drip at the hospital to induce labor.
This method is performed by your practitioner, using a small catheter and a balloon. As Baby Center explained, after the catheter and balloon are inserted, the balloon will be filled with water and put pressure on your cervix, encouraging it to start labor.
Another type of medication, Cervidil contains prostaglandin, a hormone which readies the cervix for labor, according to Parents magazine. This is given as a suppository in the vagina. It may not be your first choice, but it gets the job done.