If active labor has started on its own but contractions have slowed
down or completely stopped, steps need to be taken to help labor progress
(augmentation). Augmentation will be done when:
- Active labor has started, but your contractions
are weak or irregular or have stopped entirely.
- You have gone into active labor, but the amniotic sac has not
ruptured on its own. In this case, your doctor or nurse midwife may rupture the
amniotic sac (amniotomy) to augment labor. If labor still does not progress,
oxytocin (Pitocin) may be given to make the uterus contract.
labor has started and the amniotic sac has ruptured on its own, but labor still
is not progressing. Oxytocin (Pitocin) may be given to make the uterus
For some women, laboring in a warm tub or whirlpool (under medical
care) helps with a slow labor. This can make augmentation unnecessary.3
If labor fails to progress in spite of membrane sweeping, an
amniotomy, oxytocin, or a combination of these measures, delivery by cesarean
section may be considered.