They're simple, not long but they carry much weight-
“I'm Being Induced”
You may be wondering what's so wrong with induction, women get induced all the time! And you would be partially right, it does happen all. the. time. But there are big reasons that your doula's heart will be a little broken if she is told you are heading in for an induction and it's not necessarily because she is a hippy extremist who is die-hard on having you do all things natural! From her experience as a doula she is well aware of all of the following:
- Induced labors are much more intense! Contractions resulting from prematurely “breaking the water,” pitocin, or (heaven forbid!) Cytotec (which has no place being used in labor whatsoever) are harder and more painful than the ones our body naturally produces from Oxytocin. That means labor is harder on you and baby! Even if you opt for an epidural your baby is still feeling the full brunt of intensity from those more severe contractions.
- You are more likely to get an epidural– While this may be what you were planning anyway, you will likely want one sooner with an induced labor which can slow your delivery dramatically thereby also subjecting your baby to this more intense labor for longer. Much of the time this leads to the next issue…
- You're chances of c-section increase dramatically! See how one thing is leading to another here? It's a slippery slope.
- Induction can cause premature birth– Even with the best technology we can get our dates wrong and induction when it is not acutally medically indicated has been shown to increase the number of premature births nationwide. In fact, the March of Dimes is pretty emphatic on this point.
But My Doctor Says I Need to be Induced
As we talked about way back in the beginning of this series in regards to choosing your care provider, you have to remember that you are employing them. That's not to say that you shouldn't listen to your doctor but it does mean that you are just as responsible as them for making good and informed choices and that you are the one in ultimate control of your birth and your baby. Doctors can be wonderful and can bring excellent guidance and knowledge to your pregnancy, but they can also jump to what they are used to recommending even if it is not the proven best practice.
So, if your doctor is suggesting that induction may be indicated, you need to do your part as a responsible patient to consider the following:
- The average length of pregnancy is actually 41 weeks. This means that going past your due date is not reason enough to be induced. Unless other indicators are present it is typically safe for a pregnancy to continue even up to the 43rd week (however annoying and uncomfortable it may be).
- What is your Bishop's Score? This score helps care providers and patients determine if an induction really is necessary and if your body is ready for one. There are many instances of inductions that do not go well or progress smoothly simply because the mother's body is not ready to respond to labor.
- Do you have other medical risks? Pre-eclampsia can be a legitimate reason for induction but many times the claimed “big baby” is not. Get your facts straight, read the studies and find out what your risk is in waiting.
If Induction Really is Necessary
Alright, you've been given your doctor's suggestion, done you're research, weighed your risks and induction really is the best choice. If at all possible, ask for the gentlest induction that your doctor is willing to give. Starting off with a gel applied to the cervix to help it ripen or stripping your membranes away from the wall of your uterus (not the same as breaking your water) are often easier ways of getting things started than going straight to a pitocin drip or breaking your water. Find out your options.
Second, especially if you are having to navigate an induced labor, you will need all the support you can get! While it may sadden your doula to see you have to endure an induced labor, she would rather be there and offer you incredible support than have you do it without professional assistance! Also, do what you can to work with your induction to make it effective as quickly as possible. Stay mobile, walking and upright to keep things moving and to help your care provider need to use as little intervention as possible. Focus on relaxing to let the process do it's full job and employ things such as essential oils to help with this (Young Living's Peace & Calming and Valor are good options).
And third- most importantly– you can do this! Be confident! Birth is full of hard choices and even harder work! Just because things may not be starting out the way you wanted them to doesn't mean that you can't go on to have a wonderful and satisfying birth. Never lose your confidence in being a powerful and capable mama who can conquer even this!
Join the Conversation!
Are you keeping up with the entire 31 Days of Bellies, Birth and Babies from a Doula's Perspective series? Go to this page for the full list of posts so far and be sure to subscribe so you don't miss any more! Also, please come join the “Ask the Doula” conversation on the FB page!
You can also email me at boldturquoise at gmail dot com or go to this page if you would like more information about private classes and consultations (also available via FaceTime and Google+ Live Hangouts) or having me speak at one of your upcoming events!
You can contact me in the same ways I just mentioned if you would like more information about getting wholesale prices on Young Living Essential Oils as well as free personal essential oils coaching!
And Here is my YL#, just in case you want it:1409144
*I am not a medical professional- just a mom and doula sharing from my experiences and research.