Find Out Why You Should or Should Not Consider Inducing Your Labor
A common complaint in the last month of pregnancy is to be more than ready for pregnancy to be over! It is not uncommon to hear mothers say “I just want this baby out… I will do anything.”
Well, the truth is that until you reach close to 40 weeks gestation, mothers can be ready, but their bodies AND the baby may be saying otherwise. There are numerous reasons to avoid inducing your labor, whether you agree to the use of pitocin and you are induced in the hospital or you try any number of natural ways to induce labor.
Reasons to Avoid Induction
- Your baby’s lung development may not be complete. Brand new research tells us that even scheduling cesareans as late as 38 weeks is too early since some babies have not completed the necessary lung maturity to breathe on their own. Inductions this early would have the same result.
- Your body may not be ready. Unless your baby has dropped into your pelvis and your cervix is effaced (at least 50%) and dilated (2-3cm minimum), your body may not respond to either a medical induction or to your own natural ways to induce labor.
- If your body does not respond to pitocin, your chances of having a cesarean are higher. You statistically increase your chance of having a cesarean when you are induced and that risk may go up the earlier in your pregnancy your induction is planned.
Reasons for Induction – Are They Legitimate?
Here are some of the reasons given for induction. Let’s take a look to see which ones have merit or can be proven by medical research.
- You have gone past your due date. Believe it or not, you are not postdates until 42 weeks of pregnancy. Unless there are other indicated risks to you or your baby, your labor does not need to be induced until you are well past your due date and close 42 weeks.
- Your baby is big. If your care provider tells you the baby is big and you need to be induced early, remember that you can have a big baby whose lungs are still immature! Having a large baby is do-able if you know the ins and outs of using good labor positions and having a patient care provider if your labor takes a little longer. Not to mention, if the weight estimates are based on ultrasound, it is not a reliable method to assess the actual weight of your own baby since it is based on averages.
- Your care provider has vacation scheduled. As much as you might like to have the doctor of your choice deliver your baby, is it worth being induced or potentially having a cesarean if your body doesn’t respond to pitocin to have your care provider present for less than an hour of your labor?
- You have a history of fast labors. This reason may have some merit, but if mothers can be on their toes and get to the hospital or birth center as soon as contractions start, there should be no problem getting there on time even if you have a history of fast labors.
- Your blood pressure is high. High blood pressure is actually a legitimate reason for an induction. High blood pressure can be a problem for your baby and it may lead to a more serious problem known as pre-eclampsia.
As much as you may want your own pregnancy to be “over”, one last reminder is that after you give birth, you may have even less sleep than you are getting now! Enjoy these last few weeks of quiet with no 2am feedings and no diapers to change.