Failed Induction of Labor: Here is Why it Happens

Failed induction of labor

What is Failed Induction?

A failed induction of labor refers to a pregnant woman’s cervix progressing slower than expected or pushing taking longer than expected. There can sometimes be a difference in the rate at which the cervix dilates between first-time moms and those who have previously had children.

For first-time moms, getting from 0 to 4 cm could take about 8.5 hours, and dilation should continue to 10cm. The amount of time it takes each woman to get to 10 cm is different, but in general, pushing time is not to be more than 3 hours.

Women can begin active labor at 6cm and may require several hours to reach 10cm.

How Long does it take for Induction to Fail?

It is important to note that failure to progress or a failed induction is viewed differently by different providers.

1.     A failed induction or failure to progress may result after a woman has dilated 6cm and then after 4-6 hours with strong Pitocin surges, there is still little cervical change.

2.      After 3 hours of pushing in the birthing stage, the baby still has not been delivered.

Can I Decline being Induced?

In the event that your care provider tells you that your labor is not progressing, you should determine if this is true for your situation. And/or find out how many centimeters you are dilated. If you are not, yet, 6 cm dilated, you are not in active labor. You can ask your healthcare provider why they say your labor is not progressing.

Knowing whether you have failed to progress or have been slow to progress is vital, as there is a vast difference between the two

In addition to dilation, you can speak with your doctor about whether you are progressing in another way. Ask to be assessed to see all the other ways you’re progressing.

What Happens if your Cervix won’t Dilate?

If a woman’s cervix won’t dilate, it could be the result of an emotional disturbance that needs to be addressed before labor can begin. Having an environment that supports you is extremely important.

While you’re in labor, your mind, body, and baby are deeply impacted by the environment you were in, so creating a space where you feel safe is going to play a major role in helping you achieve your birth goals.

What Causes Failure to Progress in Labor?

The state of your mind plays a big role in the progression of labor. Unless you feel confident, safe, respected, or empowered in your birth experience, then it’s highly likely that your body will not be able to do the work required of it. Therefore, it is important to have positive, encouraging people around during labor.

Keeping positive, encouraging words in mind during labor will help you remember your truth. As a result, you will be more confident during labor.

What you can do if you stop Progressing

There is a chance that your emotions can contribute to the stall if you are approaching active labor. When there is a stall, however, most likely it is because of position. You can help by moving around a bit.

The space in your pelvis is limited for a baby. Your movements allow your baby to adjust its head position in your pelvic region. Gravity makes the baby descend.

If you move, but your labor does not progress and your doctor tells you that it is not progressing, make sure you know if it is an emergency. Often, it is not an emergency, but simply a case of the labor not proceeding as planned.

If you and your baby are healthy, then you have every right to labor without intervention as long as you desire.

Failed Induction of labor
Failed Induction of labor: Why does it happen?

Create a Comfortable Space

Feeling exhausted and uncomfortable? You can ask for options that can help you find rest or manage your sensations, but always remember that you have options, and as you are making these choices, do not forget to consider what your intuition is telling you and what would happen if you did nothing at all for a little while longer or even indefinitely.

Moving can Help in Labor

Learn what movements you can perform when labor becomes challenging. This is useful both in active labor and during pushing. Your first instinct should be to move and change positions.

No matter if you are having a medicated or unmedicated birth, changing positions and moving around could be helpful.

You Have Rights During Childbirth

It is your right to labor naturally for as long as you want, as long as you and your baby are safe. If you are feeling tired and uncomfortable, you can also ask how they can help you manage your pain or rest.

What do you do if you don’t want to be Induced?

Induction should not be imposed on you; it should be discussed with you. You and your health care team need to discuss why induction is being proposed and what the pros and cons are. Most healthcare providers will not recommend an induction unless it is deemed medically necessary.

Making the right decision for you and your baby is easier if you understand why induction is recommended.

RELATED: 6 Dos and 5 Don’ts Before being Induced

Why do doctors Push for Induction?

In general, healthcare providers may recommend labor inductions if your health or that of your baby is at risk. This would apply if you were at least two weeks past your due date. If induction is not medically necessary, you have the right to refuse it.

Final Thought

Make sure you understand what the phrase failure to progress means and how to navigate a birth experience where that phrase might be used.

Please remember that whether you give birth vaginally or via C-section, your body and your baby are not failures. You are an extraordinary human being and your baby has the best mother in the world. 

You can do the most to protect your baby and yourself by being informed and involved in the decision-making process when you are pregnant.

I hope you will find this failed induction of labor helpful.

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  1. Pingback: The 12 Ways to Induce Labor Naturally - Wellandgood Family

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