It goes without saying that inductions have rapidly increased compared to previous years. I’ve often heard (even with my own pregnancy), “Oh when are they taking you?” Taking me? Taking me where? This statement is in reference to, “When are you going to be induced?” We now live in a world where it is almost expected for a women to have her labor induced for convenience or out of a doctor’s claim of necessity. I was induced with my first daughter. I thought it was totally normal and I was ready to get that baby O-U-T. Classic induction underway at 6AM arrival, rupture membranes, wait wait wait, epidural, push push push, BABY! This is very typical for an induction, you go to the hospital, they start your pitocin (synthetic oxytocin), and you get waves of heavy hard hitting contractions that are much stronger than natural ones. My doctor felt that I needed my water broken to speed things along and that just made the contractions stronger than before! I opted for an epidural and pushed for 45 minutes at the instruction of nurses. Fast forward to my second labor, I naturally went into labor at 3AM and the contractions were totally tolerable! I was thinking, “Oh man this is going to be a sinch!” I labored for hours with the help of my doula and honestly said out loud, “When does it get bad?” Little had I known I was already transitioning into my final phase of labor and had hardly even realized it! For 9 months I had been so afraid of labor due to my previous experience and I was delighted to find out that it was nothing compared to induction.
I had prepared myself to decline and resist induction for my second child; it was my pregnancy and I was happily in control of it (for the most part, you can’t rush perfection, you know?). I surrounded myself with women who encouraged me to appreciate my last days of pregnancy when I was so ready to just be done and hold my baby. I reminded myself during tough days that when my body and baby were ready, my labor would begin. As women we mustn’t put a timer on our bodies and babies. Your due date is an estimate, not an expiration! One of my main goals is to help equip women with the knowledge and confidence to let their bodies labor as intended and to help them make the best decision for themselves when faced with the suggestion of induction.
*There are, however, very appropriate times for induction and some are medically necessary; each woman should take into consideration her specific situation.
Risks of Inducing Labor
- First-time mothers have approximately twice the likelihood of a c-section if induced as compared with spontaneous labor.
- Induced labors can be more painful.
- Induced labors cause the need for more interventions (IVs, continuous fetal monitoring, etc.)
- Induced labors can cause problems such as uterine hyperstimulation (which can cause fetal distress).
- Women are left believing that their bodies are not able to birth a baby.
- Induced labor is often more traumatic on fetuses because the strength of the contractions are unnaturally strong.
written by Abby Curtis