Amniotomy—Intentional rupturing of the amniotic sac to hasten or induce labor. This procedure is also done to check for meconium or to allow the doctor to use an internal fetal monitor. Although an amniotomy can speed up labor, its disadvantages are that it can rarely lead to umbilical cord compression, and it eliminates the barrier that protects the fetus from bacteria in the birth canal. Some doctors frequently perform an amniotomy and some do not. In most cases, the risks of amniotomy are low.
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