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Inducing Labor


If your physician recommends inducing labor, you will likely have many questions. The following information will guide you through the exciting stages before the induced birth of your child.

General Information

The Women's Hospital's pre-admission nurse meets with patients before their admission so they may pre-register and complete certain forms that are part of the hospital's admission process. This appointment also includes an optional tour of the hospital. We encourage all patients to take advantage of this service. To make an appointment, call 812/842-4170.

When you arrive for your labor induction, enter through the hospital's main entrance if you arrive between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. If you arrive after 8 p.m. or before 8 a.m., enter through the ambulance entrance, which is the Observation Unit. The Admitting staff will assist you with registration.

What to Expect

When you arrive in your room on the Labor/Delivery/Recovery/Postpartum (LDRP) unit, you will be asked to put on a hospital gown. A monitor will be connected to evaluate your baby's heart rate and your uterine activity. Your nurse will finalize the necessary admission paperwork.

Rest is very important! You may bring your own pillow if you like. Induction is not always a "quick fix: for labor and often takes time. You may want to bring only one support person initially, especially if you arrive the night before. This will allow you time to rest.

Inductions aren't always successful. Sometimes at the end of the day, the medication is discontinued. In this case, you and your physician will then make the decision for your care plan. Some patients stay and try again the next morning, but others go home and await the onset of labor.

Cervical Ripening

Your doctor may ask you to come in to the hospital for cervical ripening. If your cervix is unripe for labor (meaning it is tightly closed and firm), cervical ripening may be used to help the labor process.

One product that is commonly used is called Cervidil. This is the brand name for a product containing a synthetic form of a hormone that can help prepare the cervix for labor. Cervidil resembles a mini tampon  and has a string. It will remain behind your cervix for several hours. You may feel some mild uterine contractions. Occasionally, Cervidil alone is all that is needed to begin labor.

Pitocin Induction

Pitocin is the brand name of a synthetic form of oxytocin, which is one of the hormones your body produces to bring about labor. Inductions with Pitocin are typically begun early in the morning. If you had cervical ripening the night before, it will be removed or discontinued before starting the Pitocin.

Pitocin is given in an I.V. It is regulated by a pump so that you will get a precise amount of medication. It starts with a very small amount, and the nurse gradually increases the medication until your uterus has a regular contraction pattern and your cervix is dilating.

If You Have Questions

We will do all we can to make this experience a good one for you and your family. Our staff is happy to answer any questions you may have about your experience at The Women's Hospital. Thank you for choosing us as your birthing services provider! Contact us at 812/842-4200.