I was sitting at my appointment with my midwife, 41 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child. Everything looked great! My midwife gave me the option of scheduling an induction or waiting, saying we could safely go up to 42 weeks. My baby girl had already settled very low in my pelvis. She had been there for weeks and I was miserable. I felt like I was carrying a bowling ball between my legs, my waddle was surely a sight for sore eyes, and there was no way I wanted to do that for another week. I had already tried eating pineapple, spicy food, eggplant parmesan at the famous Scalini’s Italian Restaurant, and of course sex already even though that was the last thing on my mind at the time. So…we scheduled the induction.
No, this isn’t a story about how inductions are horrible and how I wish I had just waited. I went into the hospital the next evening. I received Cervidil to ripen my completely closed and firm cervix, with the plan to begin the Pitocin that I was deathly afraid of 12 hours later. A few hours after the Cervidil went in I started to contract on my own and 6 hours later I had a 6lb 7oz beautiful, baby girl.
Why am I telling you this?
“What can I do to help labor get started to avoid an induction?”
comes up all too frequently in the Facebook mommy groups.
Whether medically indicated or not, inductions are not inherently bad, and they do not all end in c-section. All the interventions that come with your chosen method of induction, are meant to facilitate a vaginal delivery. Also, induction is still induction no matter how you slice the eggplant. Whether you choose to use natural methods to get labor started or medication, it is still an induction.
Here are a couple of things you may want to consider when it comes to inductions. Risk: All induction methods come with a level of risk. It is up to you to determine how much risk you are willing to accept, especially when an induction is not medically indicated. Whether it’s the eggplant parmesan from your favorite Italian restaurant, midwife’s brew, herbs and sex or Cervidil, Cytotec, Foley Bulb or Pitocin, you are attempting to induce labor. Talk to your care provider about the possible side effects and/or risks associated with these methods and do your own research. Timing: According to an article released by the March of Dimes, a healthy pregnancy lasts anywhere from 37-42 weeks. It was once believed that if a baby was born anywhere within this 5-week period it was fine. However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have learned that many important things happen to babies in those last few weeks of pregnancy, including brain and lung development, and now believe it is best for babies to remain in utero at least 39 weeks.
If you are feeling heavy, swollen, and totally over being pregnant, believe me, I know the feeling. As physically and emotionally drained or overwhelmed as you might feel during those last few weeks, if you and your baby are healthy, use these guidelines as food for thought. Think about waiting on any induction procedures until at least 39 weeks.
Early Term: Your baby is born between 37 weeks, 0 days and 38 weeks, 6 days
Full Term: Your baby is born between 39 weeks, 0 days and 40 weeks, 6 days
Late Term: Your baby is born between 41 weeks, 0 days and 41 weeks, 6 days
Post Term: Your baby is born after 42 weeks, 0 days
As always, it is your pregnancy and your decision. Sometimes having a doula to discuss the options given to you by your midwife, as well as some of the options listed on the internet or suggested by friends, can be a good way to help you come to the best decision for you and your family. If you are looking for a doula, feel free to contact North Atlanta Concierge Doulas for a complimentary consultation to see how you can benefit from doula support.