Really interesting post about the evidence behind current hospital policy to augment a woman’s labour if her water’s break prior to labour starting.
Amniotic sac and fluid play an important role in the labour process and usually remain intact until the end of labour. However, around 10% of women will experience their waters breaking before labour begins. The standard approach to this situation is to induce labour by using prostaglandins and/or syntocinon (aka pitocin) to stimulate contractions. The term ‘augmentation’ is often used instead of ‘induction’ for this procedure. Women who choose to wait are usually told their baby is at increased risk of infection and they are encouraged to have IV antibiotics during labour. In my experience most women agree to have their labour induced rather than wait. I wonder how many of these women would choose a different path if they were fully informed about the available evidence. Please note that this post is not about premature rupture of membranes (before 37 weeks) – this situation is not a variation of normal physiology.
The rush to start labour and…
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