What Is A Foley Balloon Catheter Induction Of Labor?

https://www.verywell.com/what-is-a-foley-catheter-induction-of-labor-2758962

Question: What is a Foley catheter induction of labor?

Answer: The use of a Foley balloon catheter for labor induction is not as common as it once was, but it may be gaining popularity for women who are not good candidates for an induction with medications. The balloon portion of the Foley catheter, used to keep the bladder empty, is inserted, while deflated, into the uterus either by having your practitioner visualize the cervix during a speculum exam or with the fingers, feeling that the balloon is between the amniotic sac and the lower uterine segment (bottom of the uterus) on the other side of the cervix.

The balloon is then inflated with saline solution and left in place, while being taped to your thigh to provide gentle traction.

Previously other methods were used to apply pressure to the catheter. Sometimes this involves weights, like a liter of fluids or even pulling or tugging on the catheter 2-4 times per hour. This does not seem to be common anymore.

The Risks of a Foley Catheter Induction

The risks of using the Foley balloon catheter includes:

  • fever (3%)
  • non-reassuring fetal heart tones (2%)
  • vaginal bleeding (1.8%)
  • pain requiring the removal of the catheter (1.7%)
  • baby moving from the head down to breech (1.3%)

There are a couple of different types of catheters that can be used. Which is used may depend on what is available at your hospital. If you are interested, talk to your doctor or midwife about the type of catheter that is being used when discussing all of your options for induction of labor or waiting.

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