More and more I hear of people going in for inductions. Whether the outcomes are great, or not so great, people keep lining up for more of them.

Nearly half of all inductions end in cesarean sections. This can’t be a great statitstic.

So, I think to myself, why would people have induced labors, or augmented labors, for that matter?

There are 4 reasons for inducement or augmentation of labor.

1. Maternal Illness: If the woman has high blood pressure, diabetes, uterine infection, anything of this sort, they will induce labor in a sterile setting just in case something goes wrong with a normal labor.

2. Fetal Illness: This could be anything. Most times it has to do with ABS (Amniotic Band Syndrome), anything with the lungs, if there is a problem with the heart, or just any problem that occurs at the end of the pregnancy where the baby needs to come out that day, but not necessarily immediately.

3. 42 Weeks Gestation: This is considered ‘overdue’. Because the placenta is only supposed to “work” for 42 weeks, then after it shrivels and dies, and because doctors think every woman gets pregnant 2 weeks after her Last Menstral Period, 42 weeks is when the placenta stops working in every pregnancy. So, they induce labor to keep the baby alive. Whether you got pregnant at day 14 of your cycle or not.

4. Social Induction: This is an inducement of convenience. You don’t want to be pregnant anymore, or your baby is “too big” for you to push out, or you are due, but you don’t want to schedule a cesarean. So, you schedule your induction. This one should NEVER be done. There is a reason labor starts when the baby is ready to be born. If there aren’t complications in your pregnancy or anything, why would you want to put your baby at unneccesary risks, just because you want to be done with your pregnancy?

No matter the reasonf or induction, there are numerous risks involved in each and every one.

To start an induction, they put you on pitocin. This is the medicinal form of ocytocin (your body produces this naturally). Since your body can’t control the amount of the hormone is placed in your body to regulate your labor, the contractions are more intense and painful. Most women get an epidural to keep the pain at bay. This in turn leads to more pitocin, since an epidural actually slows your labor down.

They keep you dialating at the rate they want you to go, namely 1 cm in 1 hour. Any slower than this and they turn up the pitocin drip.

With induction, you have an insanely greater risk of a preterm baby. Even if you believe you are term, you may not have gotten pregnant when you thought, so you can be as much as 3 weeks off.

There is a higher risk of placental abruption. This is where the placenta comes off the uterus before the baby is born. An immediate cesarean is needed. Since your uterus doesn’t understand why the contractinos are so strong, it thinks you already had the baby, so it works to cut off the blood supply to the placenta so it can come off to be delivered.

Fetal distress is a big one. With induction, you have to be monitored all the time. And doctors think that if the heart rate on a baby drops a few beats, they immediately classify it as fetal distress and wisk you off for a cesarean. The thing they don’t seem to realize is that during contractions, the oxygen is cut off to your baby. This prepares them to breathe on their own, and so they stop the blood flow to their apendages, and their heart doesn’t have to beat as fast or as hard. This way they keep the blood flowing to their brain and heart and such, but the fingers and toes that don’t need oxygen all the time are cut off for bits of time during contractions. Instead of doing fetal stress tests, they tell the mother their baby is dying so they can take them in for a cesarean.

With pitocin, especially if you are having a VBAC, there is a higher rate of uterine rupture. Regularly it is 1-4%. If pitocin is used, it goes from 4-7%. This is a HUGE jump. And the 4-7% is for everyone, not just those doing a Trial of Labor or VBAC.

With pitocin, the higher they turn up the gauge, the more the risk for unnecssary interventions. These include pain relief, fetal monitoring, vacuums, forceps, episiotomies, and cesareans.

When people learn about all this, how can they still go through with an induction if it isn’t medically necessary? It’s like scheduling your cesarean. They are major medical interventions, and you are doing them just because pregnancy is getting hard and you don’t want to be pregnant anymore.

In retrospect, there are numerous ways you can induce your own labor without going to the hospital and being put on medications.

1. Nipple Stimulation: I’m sure most women know how great it is to be stimulated during sex. The nerves from your breasts and nipples are actually connected to your uterus. While you are pregnant, sometimes if you get a little heated during sex, you can feel yourself having contractions while your nipples or breasts are being stimulated. If you aren’t ready for labor, the contractions will soon cease, but this is a great way to start your labor if you are ready. Sometimes they can be stimulated too hard and the contractions can become too hard, but all you have to do is stop, and the contractions will return to their normal level and calibur.

2. Caster Oil: This is used to clear your bowels. You take some in orange juice, and in the process of clearing you out, it can stimulate labor. Most people have to have a bowel movement either before or during labor. Being clear cleans out your system and prepares your body.

3. Sex: This is a big one. As long as you orgasm, most times if your body is ready, you will go into labor. Just remember, if you water has already broken, you cannot have sex. But if your membranes are still intact, go have at it. This way you feel close to your spouse, and you never know if this will be the last time you can have sex for a month and a half.

4. Relaxation and Visual Imagery: I’m sure you have heard of people going into labor from viewing a flower and watching it open and applying it to their body. I used to think it was just ridiculous. But if you concentrate hard enough on it, and you are truly serious and completely into your visual, it can actually start labor and help you open. Some women can actually tell their cervix to open, and it will open for them. Not all the way, but 1 cm is still a big deal!

5. Natual induction: These would include different types of teas, and other natural stimulants. They work just as well as the medicinal ones, just because you are preparing your own body. You know when to stop, and when to make things go faster. Trust your own body to do what it is supposed to do naturally!

I know of inductinos that have gone completely well and everything was great. I have also known of inductions that ended in ruptures and emergency cesareans and hysterectomies.

Before you decide to go through with a procedure, research it. You won’t be able to make an informed decision, unless you find out for yourself what is out there.


4 Responses

  1. What about having the doctor break your water if you are already dilated a little bit? Where does that fall? Or stripping membranes?My blood pressure is starting to creep up so this is of great interest to me.

  2. Breaking your water isn’t necessary. It helps to make labor go faster since there isn’t a cushion anymore, so you feel your contractions more. Babies are actually born quite frequently with the membranes still intact. If you are far enough in labor, most times when they check you the water will break on its own. And if you baby is low and there is no chance of a prelapse (the umbilical cord getting stuck inbetween the baby and wall of the uterus) they can break it.Stripping membranes is another method they can use to start your labor. You have to be ready, and again, most times it happens because you are ready to go into labor anyway. It is painful, but it is a good way to start labor if you don’t want an IV with pitocin or anything else.I hope that helped.

  3. I was induced a week early with my daughter and was told it was because she was getting “too big”. I was already afraid of delivering because of a birthing class my dh and I took together, so I didn’t stand up for myself when my OB said he was scheduling me. I had a good experience, though. No complications, no real complaints.

    I’m glad for this post this time around, though. I’m determined to learn more so I can make educated decisions about this pregnancy. Thanks so much Kayce!

  4. This site definitely has all of the info I needed concerning this
    subject and didn’t know who to ask.

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