Inducing labour

Sometimes the pregnancy takes too long or there are other reasons that determine that the birth should be started. This is called inducing labour. Induction takes place in hospital. On the day of induction you first telephone the Obstetrics department on +31 (0)20 755 7111. If the induction is to take place that day, you arrive at the department around 7.45 a.m., or at the time arranged with you. You will be received by a nurse or clinical midwife. Your heart rate, temperature and blood pressure is checked and a CTG (baby's heart registration) will be carried out. The clinical midwife or doctor will carry out an internal examination.

Depending on the situation the doctor or clinical midwife will insert a balloon catheter into the cervix (1) or an intravenous drip(2).

  1. The balloon catheter is intended to 'ripen' the cervix. The inflated balloon at the top of the catheter ensures that you produce hormones. If the balloon drops out after approximately one day, the membranes may be ruptured and an intravenous drip will be inserted to induce the labour further.
  2. Medicines are administered through the drip to start the contractions. These medicines work best if the membranes are ruptured, which is why the doctor or clinical midwife will try to rupture these during an internal examination.

After induction is started the birth should progress no differently from a 'normal' birth. The drip will stay inserted until after the birth of the placenta.