Induction of labor involves the use of medications to start labor. There are a number of reasons why this may be performed, but we typically do not induce labor prior to 39 weeks.
Medications we use for labor induction include pitocin and Cervidil.
▪ Cervidil is a medication that is a prostaglandin. It is a synthetic version of a chemical produced naturally in the body. This is placed in the vagina behind the cervix to assist in cervical softening.
▪ Pitocin (or oxytocin) is like a hormone produced by the brain that causes uterine contractions and milk let-down in breast feeding women. The version given on L&D is a synthetic version of this and is given through the IV to cause cervical dilation and contractions.
If your doctor decides you need Cervidil, you will be admitted to the hospital on the evening before your induction. You should arrive at Flowers Hospital by 5 PM. You will check in through Admissions at the Emergency Room at Flowers Hospital. You will then be directed to Labor & Delivery. The nurses on L&D will direct you to a room where you will change, an IV will be started, and labwork drawn.
You will be seen by the physician on call and Cervidil placed. You will not be able to get out of bed for two hours once this is placed. Around 4-5AM, the Cervidil will be removed from the vagina and pitocin started.
If your doctor feels you do not need Cervidil, you will be admitted on the morning of your induction for pitocin. You should arrive at Flowers Hospital by 5AM. On the day of your induction, you will check in through Admissions at the Emergency Room at Flowers Hospital. You will then be directed to Labor & Delivery. The nurses on L&D will direct you to a room where you will change, an IV will be started, and labwork drawn.
Whether you have Cervidil induction or pitocin induction, your physician will see you first thing in the morning, usually between 6:30 and 7AM. Your water will typically be broken at this point. After your water is broken, your doctor may place a monitor in the uterus to measure uterine contraction strength. This can assist in determining the correct dose of pitocin to use. Another monitor may be placed to aid in determining the fetal heart rate.
Your cervix will typically be checked every 2-4 hours to check for cervical change until you progress to delivery.