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How to Avoid Induced Labor

To avoid the pitfalls of Pitocin, find out well ahead of time how often and under what circumstances your doctor induces. If induction is inevitable, consider talking to your health care provider about trying one of these alternatives first:

MEMBRANE STRIPPING Breaking the delicate membranes that bind the amniotic sac to the uterine wall causes the release of natural prostaglandins that will soften the cervix and may trigger contractions.

SYNTHETIC PROSTAGLANDIN GELS Ripening the cervix may bring on labor without the use of additional medications.

BREAKING YOUR WATER Treatment triggers the release of the contraction-stimulating hormone oxytocin.

If there isn't a clear health reason to hurry Mother Nature along, however, don't be shy about asking to wait, advises Dr. Lockwood.