Augmentation (Stimulation) Of Labour
Aguentation of labour refers to the process of promoting more effective uterine contractions when labour has already begun supontaneously but then becomes weak, irregular or ineffective (hypotonic) that assistance is needed to strengthen them. The most commonly used methods of labour augmentation are also methods for induction of labour:
· Intravenous oxytocin infusion and nipple and breast stimulation to increase endogenous oxytocin secretion.
Amnitomy is not as predicatble or effective stimulator of labour as oxytocin induction. If may lead to increased incidence of fetal head trauma and increase the risk of cord compression and prolapse and of caesarean delivery.
Prequations regarding oxytocin assist are the same as for primary induction of labour. A uterus may be very responsive to oxytocin when it is used as augmentation. Be certain that the drug is increased in small increaments only, and fetal heart sounds are well monitored during the procedure.
Nipple stimulation, which releases naturally occurring oxytocin, may be used as augmentation in labour. Unfortunately, because the breasts in most women become tender after only a few minutes, the procedure can not be continued long enough to be effective.