Should I be Induced?
In theory, induction sounds like a great idea. You’ve made it to 39 weeks of labour and you are tired. You struggle to fit through doors, ‘tired’ doesn’t even touch your exhaustion levels, you haven’t seen your feet in weeks and frankly, you’d like to just have your baby now thank you.
Many people choose to have inductions for social reasons (I’m a bridesmaid at a wedding in a few weeks and need to fit into the dress) and some people for medical reasons (pre-eclampsia for example). If it is an actual option you are considering, then again I would ask you to be aware of some facts around induction. If you know that you will be induced for medical reasons, then that is fine and it is a fantastic tool when there is a medical necessity.
• Induction is generally brought on using powerful drugs or a device to break the waters. Both of these techniques can cause foetal distress and problems in labour which are best to be avoided if it’s an option to do so. There can be a risk of increased risk of abnormal foetal heart rate, shoulder dystocia and other problems with the baby in labour.
• Be aware that as induced labour is not actually ‘real’ labour, it can bring on very powerful and painful contractions. It’s not an easy ride and you could find yourself in labour for a long, long time as your body has basically been forced into labour before its ready. Be patient ladies, babies will come out when they are fully cooked!
• There also appears to be a higher risk of baby having to go to a neonatal until after being born as baby was not ready to arrive yet.
• There is an increased risk of C-section also as often labour induction is unsuccessful as it’s often too far along to ‘back out.’
• Baby can also be more likely to be jaundiced
(Information from March of Dimes 2006).
This blog is adapted from the revised edition of Birth ROCKS by Cheryl MacDonald, available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.