How do I prepare for an induction?
If you are pregnant and have been told that you or your baby is at risk if the pregnancy continues then you might be offered to be induced and you may be wondering how
do I prepare for induction?
What is induction of labour?
Induction is the artificial starting of labour. You may be offered a stretch and sweep by the midwife as a non medical way of starting labour, you can read my earlier post on the pros and cons of this procedure.
You may also be offered Artificial Rupture of Membranes or ARM. You can read more on that procedure in this article by Rachel Reed at Midwife Thinking.
There are two main medical ways of starting labour. One is by using a pessary of hormones and one is using a drip of synthetic oxytocin.
How will labour be induced?
Your doctor and midwife should explain the process of induction including all the possible risks and side effects of this process. Remember you do have a choice and even if medical advice is to have an induction you are perfectly within your rights to decline.
Why Induce labour?
There are many reasons that induction is used, sometimes it can be life saving and sometimes it can have unintended consquences. If mum or baby has a condition which means that there is risk to them for the pregnancy to continue then induction may be an opition to consider. However a lot of inductions are for prolonged pregnancy and while there is small increase in poor outcomes in some cases of prolonged pregnancy I am not sure that the potential risks of induction outweighs the benefit in many cases.
At the end of the day, it is your choice to accept or decline an induction. Be prepared to ask questions, be prepared to assert your wishes politely but firmly, be prepared to do a lot of research! Here are 10 things to know about induction from the wonderful Sara Wickham
What are the risks of induction?
Induction uses artificial hormones which we know interrupt the delicate balance of natural endorphins that mum makes. Some mums experience induction and cope very well, some mums find the intensity and frequency of contractions are harder to cope with. A known factor with induction is that it can increase your chance of having an epidural, instrumental delivery or c’section.
Risk is very personal too. You can only balance the chances of each outcome according to your own personal research and feelings. High risk for one woman will be perfectly acceptable for another and this is fine.
How can I prepare for my induction?
Inducing labour can sometimes be more intense for woman than if labour is allowed to start naturally. This is because the synthetic oxytocin only cause the uterus to contract and sometimes it may be hyper-stimulated and this can also be a risk factor for uterine rupture.
When the body’s natural oxytocin is allowed to gently flood the body there is a corresponding increase in endorphins which allow mum to enter a trance like state as her body births her baby. That said, induction doesn’t have to be terrible, by being prepared and helping your body’s own natural oxytocin you can ride those waves of labour like a pro! Here are some lovely stories of positive induction births.
My top tips regarding inducing labour
- Are you sure this is right for you and your baby? If yes, great! If not, why?
- Ask for as much information as possible
- Prepare your body
- Make your preferences known in the event of needing pain relief or a c’section
- Attend a class.
- Daisy Birthing can help you achieve a positive birth, whatever your journey or choices.