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Labor and Delivery Interventions


Updated June 18, 2014

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Your Birth Choices
Labor and Delivery Interventions
We all hope that childbirth will go smoothly. Most women are dreaming of a nice, quick labor and birth. However, some women will have complications or require interventions due to issues like induction. Some of these interventions include: IV, fetal monitoring, breaking your water with an amnihook, forceps or a vacuum extractor. Here is information on these practices in labor and birth, including what they are and how to try to avoid them.

Sometimes interventions are used because it is the common thing to do and not because it is absolutely necessary. This is where a birth plan, a good relationship with your doctor or midwife and informed consent comes in. These ingredients are important for you to be able to make the best decision for you and your family.

There is also an effect known as the cascade of interventions. This basically states that once you have one intervention it makes more interventions more likley to be needed. To minimize the effects of the cascade of interventions one needs to be able to try and pick and choose only the interventions really necessary and to actively work to counteract potential side effects from the intervention when possible. Your doctor, midwife, nurse or doula can help you figure out how to minimize side effects from the interventions used in your labor and delivery experience.

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