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Induction of labour

If you are recommended and accept an induction of labour, your care will be provided at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Depending upon how well you and your baby are, this will either take place on Rothschild Ward or on the labour ward. If you are being induced because your pregnancy is over due and you have had no other complications you may be able to plan to give birth at the Aylesbury Birth Centre. Please discuss your options with the staff caring for you.

An Induction of labour is a process designed to start labour artificially. We offer a range of methods to start your labour, depending upon whether you are having your first baby or have given birth before. Your midwife or doctor will discuss what method is recommended based on your personal needs and will monitor you and your baby throughout.

Helping you have a positive experience of birth

It can take a number of hours until your contractions are regular and the neck of the womb starts to open. Women tell us that this can be tiring and it is important to get enough rest, eat, and sleep. We want to keep you positive and motivated during labour and birth.

If you are being induced in hospital, you can ask for a birthing ball or beanbag to help manage discomfort in the early stages. Keeping mobile, walking around and leaning forward may also help you feel more comfortable during contractions.
Some women find having their back or shoulders rubbed can help ease the pressure of the contractions and keep you relaxed and calm. Taking a shower or bath on the ward may also help to ease early contractions and promote relaxation. The midwives are on hand to offer advice, support and discuss possible options.

How we check you and your baby are well

Before induction of labour begins we will check your blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and that your baby has been moving normally. We will feel your abdomen and check the position of your baby and listen to the baby’s heart. Once the midwife has checked the baby’s heart rate we will start a longer monitoring of the baby involving two belts attached to your abdomen. Most women sit up in bed for this monitoring, but you can sit on the birthing ball or chair, once the belts are on securely.

We encourage you to put together a birth plan to bring onto the labour ward identifying any aspects of the birth or postnatal care that are important to you. The birth preparation classes may offer an opportunity to discuss these areas further.