INDUCTION OF LABOUR – On the clock!
Induction of labour is undoubtedly the biggest ‘threat’ women face when their 40 wk. due date has arrived – sometimes even before! The stress of being aware of ‘the clock’ ticking, is enough to prevent labour from starting naturally.
There are very few valid medical reasons for an induction of labour. Main reasons include:
- Placenta has slowed, or not functioning at it’s optimum (very rare)
- High blood pressure (very rare)
- Bleeding (very rare)
Reasons ‘suggested’ by many include:
- Baby too big! Whilst this can be a very scary concept for most women, it is most definitely not a reason to induce. Trust that you will only grow a baby that is just the right size for you
- Baby’s head not ‘fully’ engaged. Also not a reason to induce. Many do not engage until in labour
- Membranes released early, with no other signs, i.e. ‘contractions’. A woman should be given at least 72hrs. with released membranes before anyone suggests induction, as long as baby is O.K. and Mum is happy to wait
- Overdue! What does this mean? It is different for all women. Whilst 37-42wks. should be regarded as normal, there are many women who birth normally at 42wks.+, and have a beautiful healthy placenta. Just because you are 40 wks. is not a reason to induce
- Many, many ‘social’ reasons from star signs, partner’s work/sport commitments, family reasons, just ‘over’ being pregnant, Obstetrician’s agenda (going on holidays, not working the weekend, very busy, etc. etc.) – none of these are valid reasons
How to negotiate with your caregiver:
- Your doula will support you in negotiating
- Accept that your caregiver is sometimes placed in a difficult situation as they are obliged to follow policy and procedure
- Stay positive and ‘in charge’ of your birth
- Compromising can be negotiated in a respectful way. e.g. Agreeing to a CTG and ultrasound on a regular basis can be an acceptable outcome for all.
- If the CTG/ultrasound shows baby to be healthy and happy, then you will be in a powerful position to advise that you are happy to wait until labour starts naturally, and offering to have these checks as often as hospital would like
What you can do to ENCOURAGE labour to start?
This can be a very stressful situation for many pregnant women.
Labour is unlikely to start when a woman is very stressed and anxious.
Hypnosis, often only 1-2 sessions can calm the mind and body, for you and baby, opening the window for labour to start naturally.
- Stay relaxed and calm
- Trust that labour will start when you and baby are ready
- Distract yourself with some enjoyable activities (movies, massage, walks etc.)
- Essential oil massage
- Hot spicy food
- Holding and ‘clucking’ over a friend’s new baby, kitten, puppy etc.
- Stay positive and focused on the connection with your baby. Talk to baby about when would be a good time to meet on the outside.
- Do not be intimidated by scare tactics that are frequently used, often to support someone else’s agenda.
- Bottom line: if baby is O.K. and Mum O.K. then be patient and let nature takes it course