Woman waiting to give birth

When it comes to child birth, namely medical reasons associated with child birth like preeclampsia, infections or a higher blood pressure than usual, it is not uncommon for women to be induced.

In fact, according to Better Health Victoria, a quarter of pregnant women in Australia are induced by their doctor or midwife.

As reported by Refinery29, doctors still don’t know which type of induction method works best, but in a study published on Obstetrics & Gynecology this month, scientists believe they have found the fastest way to induce labour.

Testing a combination of contraction-inducing methods, working alone and together, researchers were able to measure which kind of induction process worked the fastest.

After analysing four different methods used across a group of 492 women due to give birth, scientists found that the combination of misoprostol, a synthetic hormone that softens the cervix, and the Foley catheter, a device that kicks off the dilatation process after it is inserted into the cervix, worked the fastest.

What their results showed is that the combination of these two methods meant that the women in this study were in labour for, on average, 13 hours, compared to 17-18 hours for participants who were only given a single method.

The importance of thinking and talking about short labour times lies within the benefits they can have on both the mother and baby (less risk of birth complications and potentially less time spent in hospital).