To Induce Labor or Not to Induce Labor–that is the question!

Happy Friday my Blossom friends!

Today I want to chat about induction. Believe it or not, induced labors have increased by over 40% in the past three decades. What the blue hell is that about?! Is it because babies have forgotten when they should be born? Is it because our modern world has created mothers who can’t naturally go into labor? No. It’s not. Our bodies normally know what to do.

I want to make it clear that I’m NOT against hospital births or using interventions in birth. They totally have their place and save countless lives…..But I AM against my clients and other mothers not knowing the facts. Truth is mamas, a lot of inductions are UNNECESSARY. Now, I’m not suggesting you tell your doctor or midwife to “fuck off” the second they suggest induction—all I’m saying is, you deserve to know WHY they want you to Induce.

“Question everything!”, my grandmother always told me. She was a super smart woman.

What happens when you medically Induce Labor?

If your labor hasn’t start naturally, you’ll be started on an IV infusion of oxytocin. This drug (often referred to by the brand name Pitocin) is a synthetic form of the hormone that your body produces naturally during spontaneous labor, but at a much higher level. To ripen your cervix and Induce Labor, your healthcare provider may use prostaglandins.

So, The Number One reason I hear most mothers Induce is they believe their baby is “late.” But you’ve got to realize that babies and doctors don’t always have the same “due date” in mind. The date given to expecting mothers has a large margin for error. Two weeks either way— we really should be given a “due month” instead. I’ve known healthy babies born at 36.5 weeks and I’ve known equally healthy babies born at 43. I’m no doctor, but there seems to be a lot of space between those weeks. There are legitimate reasons to induce, but don’t let the baby being a week “late”, with no other reason, be one.

So let’s get down to the reason I wrote this post. Questions that you should absolutely ask your care provider when they suggest induction. These will help you make sure you are in control of your birth! Question everything! It is not disrespectful to question your doctor, no matter what Memaw says. Your body is YOURS. You deserve to know The Who, What, Where, Why and Hows that happen to your body and baby. As always, I suggest having a doula at your birth to help you work out how induction fits into your birth plan. Also, induction often leads to other interventions, and doulas can help inform you of what you can expect along the way. Here at Belly Blossom we believe every mother who wants a doula should have a doula!

Questions to Ask your Doctor BEFORE Induction:

1 Why are you being induced? Are you simply overdue or are there some legitimate health concerns? 

2 Would they be opposed to following the ACOG’s standards by monitoring you till 42 weeks before inducing?

3 How favorable is your cervix? This can affect how they induce and how likely the induction is to be successful. Ask for your Bishop’s Score.

4 How do they plan to induce? Are they going to use a cervical ripener to soften your cervix? Are they going to go right to Pitocin? The answers should be tailored to how favorable your cervix is. 

5 Ask what they would do if you don’t go into labor even after induction? Do they send you home and wait it out? Straight to C-Section? How do they plan to manage things?

6 Will they let you eat and drink after induction starts? If not, is there a legitimate reason you aren’t allowed?

7 Will they let you move about, use water, change positions…? If not, why?

8 Do they require continuous monitoring or do they do intermittent?

9 Can you have pain meds? When can you have them? What narcotics do they have standard orders for? What dosage? Is there a cut off point to recieving pain medications (if you are 8+cm, will you be able to get anything?)

10 If labor is progressing well can they turn OFF the pitocin for a while and see if your body will take over? You may want the opportunity to have the kind of contractions that are perfect for your body and be able to get off of the monitor for a while so you can walk and change positions more easily. This will help ensure proper fetal alignment, more so than laboring in bed. If you can’t, What is the reason they can’t turn it off? 

11 Is there a time limit on your induction before it is considered a failed induction or turns into a c-section? Do they follow active management? Do you have to progress Xcm in X amount of time? If you are well and the baby is well, can you take it slow and steady instead? If not, why?

12 Can you decline having your amniotic sac ruptured as part of the induction process? You should know that you can reconsider later, like if you get stuck at 8cm for a few hours, but as a matter of routine you might would rather not have it ruptured. You may worry about the added stress baby could face with the pitocin contractions if they don’t have the benefit of the cushion. Fetal malpresentation, cord prolapse and cord compression are other concerns, as well as infection.

Question Everything my friends!

I wish you the best birth experience!

If you have more questions, ask me!

Xoxo,

Hannah- Your doula

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