Stimulating labour

Once labour has begun naturally, your care provider may suggest stimulating labour if your cervix is not opening (dilating) and your contractions are too far apart or not strong enough.

The frequency and strength of contractions are increased using oxytocin, which is intravenously administered on a continuous basis. Once the oxytocin starts to take effect, it must usually be administered until the baby is born.


Oxytocin: A hormone produced by a gland within the brain. Oxytocin circulates in our blood, causing uterine contractions during childbirth and the expulsion of breast milk.

Labour: Process by which the baby passes from the uterus to the outside world, primarily through contractions of the uterus.