As usual this is not meant as medical advice. This is just information with a lot of links so you can do more research! Then make the best decision for yourself!
Everyone wonders why the cesarean rate is so high, I think a huge reason is all of the inductions happening today. Over 40 % of mother’s careproviders try to induce them and over 47% receive pitocin during their births. I think inductions are something moms really need to be proactive about, because it carries many risks. Hopefully this article will help some moms who are being offered inductions!
5 RISKS of induction
1. It may not work.
If your body is not ready to have the baby, an induction most likely will not work, which increases your chance of ending up with a cesarean. A good way to tell if your body is ready is to find out your Bishop’s Score! If it is over 9 an induction will probably be successful (if all goes smoothly) if it is below a 9, odds are you will end up with a cesarean. Either way, make sure there is a GOOD reason for an induction.
2. It can cause stress for the baby, which can lead to other interventions and possibly a cesarean. (Usually due to the medications they are using to induce)
3. It can exhaust the mom.
They often have moms come in at midnight, put in cervidil and then in the morning start pitocin. So even before active labor begins, mom is tired. Then the contractions can be so strong and powerful for so long, mom is tired and this leads to #4.
4. Since the pressure waves tend to be more intense than natural waves, moms may want to get an epidural which can lead to other issues.
5. An induction can be the first step down the road to a very intervention filled birth and is more likely to end in a cesarean, than a birthing time that starts because mom and baby are both ready!
5 Ways to Avoid an Induction!
1. Ask questions to your care provider from early in your pregnancy, to see where he/she stands on these issues. The answers may raise some red flags and you may choose to change care providers.
How often do you induce your moms?
When do you suggest induction?
What happens if I am still pregnant at 41 weeks?
How do you do inductions?
2. Take an Independent Childbirth Class to learn about normal birth and educate yourselves on your choices before and during birth.
3. Trust your body and baby and your instincts!
4. Refuse late term ultrasounds. If your pregnancy has been low risk, there is no medical need to do one. Care providers often use the results to “suggest” inductions. Your baby looks big, etc.
5. If an induction is suggested, ask questions, do your research, see if it is really MEDICALLY needed. Know that you are in charge, it is your body and your baby!
5 things to do if you choose to get induced.
1. Ask – What is my Bishop’s Score?
2. Ask – What will happen during the induction?
Knowing what to expect can help you feel more prepared.
3. Ask – What medications will you use?
Make sure you are ok with the medications they are planning on using (if they say cytotec/misoprostol/miso do some research on that, here is another great article… scroll down to the bottom to read a very telling OB quote of why they love cytotec.)
4. Stay upright as long as possible during your birthing time
This can help the baby move down and get in a good position for birthing.
5. Watch the nurses each time they come in the room.
They tend to up the pitocin quickly and every time they come in, without telling you. So watch them. Tell them to go slowly, this isn’t a race!
5 different things care providers use for inductions
1. Cytotec aka Misoprostel aka Miso – very BAD! Dangerous for mom and baby. Go to this link to learn more. Know that if your OB tends to use this you have the right to refuse it and I would put it in writing!
2. Cervidil – There are some minimal risks…. but it helps to soften the cervix in starting an induction, usually this is the first step, followed by Pitocin.
3. Foley Bulb – use a “balloon” to help open the cervix, it will fall out when mom dilates to about 3 to 4cm. As far as I know there are no risks to this. I guess there would be a risk of infection as there is anytime you introduce something foreign into the vagina.
4. Pitocin – Man made oxytocin to help contractions to start and or to strengthen contractions. These contractions tend to be very strong contractions which can lead to some different issues. Discomfort for mom and stress on the baby. A key is to WATCH what the nurses do when they come in. They like to up the dose each time, ask them to do it 1 at a time (many do it 2 at a time) if you have a good pattern going, ask them to stop turning it up! They will up it without asking so you MUST WATCH!
5. AROM – Artificial Rupture of Membranes (Care provider breaks your water) In most cases this puts you on the clock. Once your water has broken most care providers want to see the baby born within 24 hours. It also increases your chance of infection and can cause added stress on the baby. Without the cushion of water around the baby, they may experience some stress. In recent studies they say it doesn’t prove that it speeds things up. So you may choose to keep your bag of water intact!
For Part 2 of this article click here.