After nine months of being pregnant, you probably can’t wait for the arrival of your due date. You may be anxious about the actual labor and delivery, especially if it’s your first child. Nonetheless, you’re prepared and ready to meet your baby and begin the next chapter in your life.
But even if you have a healthy pregnancy with few complications, labor may not start when you expect. Different women go into labor at different times. Some women start labor close to their due dates, or before their due dates. Others go several days past their due dates with no contractions.
If labor doesn’t start on its own, your doctor may need to induce labor and stimulate uterine contractions. There are different ways to induce contractions and have a successful vaginal birth. One method your doctor may recommend is known as foley bulb induction.
A foley bulb induction is a procedure where your doctor insets a catheter into your cervix. One side of the catheter is deflated. Once inside your womb, your doctor inflates the balloon with a saline solution.
This puts pressure on your cervix and encourages dilation. The catheter falls out once your cervix dilates to 3 centimeters. In many cases, this method successfully stimulates labor without medication. But your doctor may use this method in conjunction with labor-inducing medications.
With any procedure, it’s important that you know what to expect. The insertion of a Foley catheter can be a bit uncomfortable, and some women experience sharp pelvic pain. The pain may subside once the catheter is in place. Once induction takes place, contractions may begin shortly thereafter.
A foley bulb induction can be done once you’re admitted into the hospital, at which time your doctor monitors your heart rate and your baby’s heart rate. Or it may be an outpatient procedure. You can go home and return to the hospital once you’re experiencing full-blown labor.