Induced labors have increased by almost two times since 1990 in America. Labor, delivery and birth, which were once uncertain time events, are now being increasingly manipulated to suit the whims and fancies of parents and hospitals.
A pregnant Super Bowl fan in Pittsburg told news reporters that she requested her doctor for an early labor induction so that she would not miss the game. After determining the safety of the procedure her obstetrician consented. The woman ultimately went spontaneous labor with natural birth.
Doctors at the cost of a hospitals staff time and money, have often entertained frivolous requests such as these. Induced labor would need approximately 24 to 36 hours of monitoring as inductions often increases the risk of fetal distress or even a ruptured uterus. The chances of Caesarean birth, with long recovery periods are also increased.
According to the guidelines of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' induced labor is recommended in cases of maternal hypertension, rupture of the amniotic sac, placenta problems or if pregnancies cross the estimated due date.
The manufacture and use of Pitocin, which is a synthetic version of the hormone oxytocin, intravenously to stimulate the uterus has been directly proportional to the rise in elective inductions. Obstetricians who try to avoid the late night deliveries and parents who would like to control even the date of birth of their children have made the situation worse.
The national rate of Caesarean births has also crossed an all time record of 29 percent. The portions of these that are elective are also rising rapidly. In Britain a mother who elects to have a Caesarean birth is allowed to do so. The National Institute of Health, which will discuss this issue, will probably follow its lead.
As it becomes clearer that hospitals and their maternity wards seem to be using more resources for fewer patients, hospitals like the New York-Presbyterian Hospital and the Columbia University Medical Center have begun tracking inductions.
According to Dr Sarah Kilpatrick, head of the OB/GYN department at the University of Illinois many hospitals are now requesting for specific guidelines before starting elective inductions.