Early labor induction

Patient

Q: I'm 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I'm having trouble sleeping and keeping comfortable. I have heart burn i can no longer clear up with zantac. I only get 4-5 hours of sleep a day and because of this is leaves me week and miserable. can i be induced early?

Doctor

A:   The last few weeks of your pregnancy are probably the most difficult and I can understand how uncomfortable you must be feeling at the moment. To improve your sleep in the last few weeks most doctors would recommend listening to soft soothing music, changing sleeping positions to side ways or propped up, using cushions etc. that may give you a few hours of rest that you need. Heart burn is a troublesome symptom of pregnancy that can also negatively influence your sleeping pattern.
Heartburn in pregnancy may occur because pregnancy hormones can cause the lower esophageal sphincter (the muscular valve between the stomach and esophagus) to relax, allowing acids from the stomach to splash into the esophagus. In addition, in the last trimester the enlarged uterus can crowd the abdomen, pushing stomach acids upward.
To reduce heartburn during pregnancy you could try some simple measures such as eating several small meals each day instead of three large ones. You must also avoid fried, spicy, or rich foods, or any foods that seem to cause relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter and increase the risk of heartburn.
Another trick that might work is to keep the head end of your bed higher than the foot end or using cushions your shoulders to keep your upper body propped up.
Induction of labor although a tempting option to get yourself out of the suffering is not devoid of risks for yourself as well the baby. You must know that induced labor is likely to be more painful and prolonged than spontaneous labor. Also once induced you are at risk of complications such as uterine rupture, cord prolapse, hyper stimulation, intrauterine fetal death, infections etc. Induction of labor may fail in upto 40 percent of the cases and may also increase your chances of undergoing a Cesarean section by 50 percent.
Try to naturally help yourself deal with the pregnancy induced insomnia as well as heart burn with the above mentioned suggestions. If nothing works, discuss your condition with your doctor. Induction of labor has its own risks and weigh the pros and cons carefully before initiating the process

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