Mehemea he rerekē te whakamamae i tā koutou i whakamahere ai If labour does not go as planned

Having your pēpi is the most natural thing in the world, but it is different for everyone. Sometimes things do not go as planned for the labour, or you need help with the birth.

Inducing labour

An induced labour (induction) is one that is started artificially, rather than starting naturally on its own. Labour can be induced by either:

  • breaking the bag of water around your pēpi and using medicines
  • just using medicines and other methods.

Why you might need an induction

Your midwife or doctor may recommend induction:

  • if your pēpi is overdue
  • if your waters have broken before labour starts on its own
  • if you or your pēpi have a health problem.

Deciding about an induction

Your midwife or doctor will give you information and answer your questions to help you to decide about induction. This includes why you might need one, how the induction will be done, and what the risks are.

Induction of labour — Auckland Women's Hospital (external link)

Pain relief

Pain is a normal part of the labour process. Many people choose not to have any pain relief during labour. Others choose to have medicines to help with them cope with the sensations. It is your choice whether you have pain relief or not.

To help you decide, you can discuss your options with your midwife or  doctor. They will give you information about what is available at your chosen place of birth, including any risks for you or your pēpi of having medicines for pain relief. 

Pain relief options include:

  • massage, breathing, using water, keeping upright and active, support of whānau
  • homeopathy, herbal medicine or rongoā Māori
  • acupressure and acupuncture
  • gas and air (a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen, sometimes called Entonox)
  • morphine, fentanyl or pethidine
  • an epidural.

Pain relief options — Auckland Women's Hospital (external link)

When you need help with the birth

A small number of people need the help of instruments with their births. Forceps or a ventouse suction cup can be used on the baby’s head to help you birth your baby.

If you need to have a forceps or ventouse birth, your midwife or doctor will explain why this is needed at the time.

Caesarean section

A caesarean section is an operation to remove your pēpi through a cut in your tummy. Caesareans can be either planned or urgent (emergency).

During your pregnancy, a caesarean may be planned if your midwife or doctor believe that labour may be dangerous for you or your pēpi.

An urgent caesarean is needed if complications happen during pregnancy or labour and the safest option is to deliver your pēpi straight away.

Your midwife or doctor will give you information and answer your questions about a caesarean. This includes what happens during and after a caesarean, why they recommend it and what the risks are.

Caesarean section — Auckland Women's Hospital (external link)

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