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Inducing Labor

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-Hi, I'm Dr. Dunham. I'm an obstetrician/gynecologist here at NYU Medical Center, and today, we're going to go inside a labor and delivery room. Of all women, about 20% of all pregnancies end up being induced. It happens for either maternal reasons or for fetal reasons, fetal indications. It depends on the time of gestation in the pregnancy and if there's any complications with the pregnancy, but if a woman is overdue, like a week or two, at the most two weeks overdue, she would be induced. That's probably the most common reason. If during fetal monitoring, we see that fluid is low around the baby, we would induce for that reason. Other reasons are things like preeclampsia or a medical problem that the mother has. Women who had babies before and sort of want their lives to be scheduled a little bit easier, they'll ask to be induced, and sometimes we do that. Really starts when they're admitted to the hospital for induction. When the decision is made to be induced, the patient is admitted. They come to the hospital and they usually have IV access, and they're given a drug called Cytotec and that's placed-- a tablet is placed vaginally, and the purpose of that tablet is to soften the cervix and to make the cervix more favorable or more right for induction, make the cervix easier to be dilated. When the cervix is right then, usually, the patient has some contractions on her own, either from the process or naturally. And at that point, medication is started called oxytocin or Pitocin commonly, and that's given by IV. What Pitocin is or oxytocin is it's a synthetic version of a hormone that we have in our bodies that makes the uterus contract. So, it brings on contractions. Some people are very, very sensitive to it and they can have a problem with too many contractions, and that can lead to a problem with the baby's heart rate, and we monitor the patient and the baby throughout with an instrument called an external fetal monitor. It's sort of a belt that goes around the woman and then a monitor that goes over the fetal heart-- that picks up the heart beat. Usually, you know, inductions take longer than spontaneous birth. That's a given because, you know, there's like a starting time that we need, and then usually, by 24 hours or 24 or 30 people have their babies. The best thing you can do is to relax and think that how many women have gone through this before you and trust that nature will take its course. I guess the biggest downside would be a failed induction and that would be cesarean section. Most women who are induced obviously hope to have a vaginal birth. So, that would be the downside if there was-- if it didn't work. Bear in mind that most babies are born normally and we're here to try to help you have a normal delivery. -Don't go away, another Parents TV on Demand video is coming up next. -Hi, It Moms. We all remember what it likes to be at the end of our pregnancies and our sweet Marnie here is in the homestretch and she is ready. -We've all heard the wives' tales and had a naturally induced labor. So [unk] and I wanted to put three of them to the test today. First step, I did long walk. -A few months ago, when I was looking online to research wives' tales, a lot of doctors were saying "don't do it." -So, basically what we're saying is don't try this at home. Even a step that seems harmless, strike with the doctor first. Thanks for going on a walk with me. I know you're wearing heels, but nothing is really going on. -Oh, my dogs are barking. -Well then, let's go get a foot massage. So here we are at the Barefoot Sage where they offer luxurious feet and leg massages. Some people think that that's an excellent way to induce labor, and I'm willing to give it a try. Oh my gosh. Oh. -Check any of the following medical conditions you have. Pregnancies. -Pregnancies and medical conditions. -Check. -You get [unk]. -Thank you. -Oh my God. Look at the massage first. Have you ever had any one's water break on the couch? -No. So it really isn't meant that it will start your labor. If the baby is not ready, the baby will not go out. It's up to whether or not it is totally primed and ready to go. No matter how much you push on the pressure points, it's not gonna stimulate labor unless the baby is ready. If the baby is ready, it can stimulate labor. That's gonna cause contractions. -Why? Do you think that's funny? -Yes. -Do you think that's funny? -I'm sorry. -Look at the belly and then move up with the drums on it. -Face pull up. -Uterine point, which is on the inner ankles, the spot that's usually pressed for labor. -All right, Marn, anything? -No. I'm not feeling anything yet. -Okay. Then we have to go to spicy food. Famous is salsa. When you're pregnant, everybody and their grandmother have advice for you, and across the board, everybody said to eat spicy food. -So we're here at Don'Key. -Where? -Here at Don'Key, a Mexican restaurant where we're gonna put spicy food to the test. -[unk] jalapenos. Hooh. Frank's salsas. Who's Frank? -It's hot. Apparently, he is saucy hot sauce. -He is saucy and he's hot. -Oh yeah, that's hot. That's hot and spicy. -It is hot and spicy? -Uh-huh. -Is it too hot? -Don't-- don't eat that one. -Okay. I won't eat that one. It's spicy. That's for sure. -Okay It Moms. So, obviously, this is a little [unk]. We don't want anyone going into labor prematurely, and besides, you're gonna be pregnant a little time in your life, enjoy it. The best way to go is to let nature run its course. -But you know? A good Mexican meal and a foot massage-- -can't hurt on a bad day. Bye It Moms. -Bye It Moms. -Thank you for watching Parents TV, our families, our lives.