"Induction is sometimes necessary and life saving. Other times it is just a routine part of a crazy trend." Pam England, author Ancient Map for Modern Birth.
You know as well as I do, that a baby born when he or she is ready is the smartest way to go when giving birth (with normal, healthy conditions). Imagine you're told that for the safety of your baby it's wisest to go ahead and induce labor - do you really know everything you need to know about that process in order to mindfully and from your heart, say yes?
Listen closely ladies, there's more to the story - and the decision - than a simple yes or no! Induction seduction is running rampant in our culture and our birthing mother's and their children are the ones most deeply effected!
It's safe to say that the majority of women don't really know the ins and outs of induced labor. It's a common assumption that is must be safe or it wouldn't happen as often as it does! And though it is true that in some not-so-usual situations it can indeed be the best thing, as a common practice an induced labor is most often accompanied by a cascade of intervention.
The numbers surrounding induction of labor are a bit difficult to nail down and so the loose estimation is that anywhere from 21%-40% of first time mothers begin labor by induced means...interestingly enough, 50% of those first time moms will go on to birth by Cesarean. For many women this means embracing a birth experience that they may have not been well prepared for whether they birth by Cesarean or not.
Right off the top of my head there are an easy ten things to consider before signing on the proverbial induction dotted line. Today I will only address three biggies!
As always, choose your birth team wisely...
From your careprovider to your doula to the nursing staff at your birth location to any other person you may choose to have present during labor and birth (photographer, family, etc), choose wisely. Ask questions early in pregnancy that most women wait until latter pregnancy to ask:
• what is your induction rate and for what reasons might you suggest I be induced?
• how do you support me should I choose an induction?
• what methods do you use for induction?
• do you have special comfort measures that will work for me should my labor be induced?
Take a comprehensive, mindful childbirth preparation class…
Why? you might ask, particularly if you've birthed before? If you look back at either personal experience with this or perhaps ask a friend who's been there before, many childbirth classes overly emphasize worst case scenario possibilities or ignore them entirely. A great class will feel more like a conversation, is personal and supports connection and communication between the participants! It should be informative AND fun, right? Difficult topics can be approached in a mindful way such that good information is relayed without instilling fear of any kind. Many good childbirth educators and doulas can help you to remember that "your body is not a lemon,"as Ina Mae would say and recommend ways to avoid induction unless truly medically necessary.
Nearly everyone grows tired of being pregnant. Have a reliable, trustworthy person to whom you can go and get grounded with your body and thoughts before you say yes to induction...
From early in pregnancy all the way through to the end women hear time and again: "We'll induce if you haven't had that baby by 40 weeks, haven't you had that baby yet?, still pregnant?" It's actually fairly easy to reinforce an idea until it becomes reality! New studies are showing us that babies born before 39 weeks have a considerably higher risk for fever, infection, temperature regulation problems and feeding issues...additionally, a baby's brain at 37 weeks weighs only 80% of what it WILL weigh at 40 weeks!!
Clearly, this is not all that there is to consider when contemplating induction of labor - the discussion could go on and on! The bottom line message is this: look, listen, talk before you leap--informed consent is a dialogue!
Take it easy ~