I am getting so tired of hearing about inductions for no reason other than impatience!!!!
If you look up term pregnancy anywhere you will read that pregnancy comes to term between 37 and 42 weeks. That means that as many babies will come naturally at 37 weeks as they will come at 42 weeks. The median of course is that “due date”, that date that everyone has their eye on. But just like 37 weeks is not pre-term if a baby comes on their own, 42 weeks is not overdue. It is NORMAL and HEALTHY. Most 1st time moms will go into labour at around 41.5 weeks as the norm. They are not “overdue”, they are not “at risk”, they do NOT need to be induced. The babies are not more at risk either, women may be tired and impatient at the end of a pregnancy,but, that’s life. There is NO need to induce!
Docs however, have also seemed to have forgotten what they learned, or maybe they never learned about natural birth. They seem to see women and babies as Robots, needing to be all the same size, gain the same amount of weight and the same gestational period. The minute that 37 week hits they start getting impatient too and for NO good reason.
Most of the women that called me for breastfeeding support all had the same story: Their doctor (the same doctor) proposed induction at 38 weeks just because they were “term” at that point and I would have to say that 3/4ths of them ended up to be C/S’s and the others had other complications. Not many women that I have talked to have had a complication free delivery and I think I have only talked to 1-2 moms that had a natural birth and went into labour on their own and I have never heard of someone having a pregnancy over 40 weeks at this hospital…
This is really sad and upsetting for me…
Right now I am nearing the end of my pregnancy… actually tomorrow I will be considered to be at officially term as I will be 38 weeks. I am also officially tired of being pregnant, I am sore, I have trouble sleeping, my pelvis feels like it is falling apart and I can’t turn in bed without having tons of pain. If I was a mainstream mom that actually trusted OB’s and wasn’t informed about the risks (or just blindly thought that doctor wouldn’t do anything that had significant risks for no reason) then I would maybe be wanting to be induced… knowing what I know however, what the risks are and trusting my body and what is normal and natural instead of an impatient “care” provider I would never be induced, especially for non-medical reasons such as impatience…
So what are the Risks?
First, induction will not work if your body is not ready to go into labour yet. That means that more meds need to be used and it can lead to failed inductions and stress on the body and baby. When the meds do work they often produce unnaturally strong contractions. Pretty much every woman you will talk to that has been induced has not been able to give birth naturally because the contractions are so strong. Why? Because these strong contractions can lower the baby’s heart rate and cause fetal distress because of the lack of oxygen that occurs with the strong contractions. It can also lead to uterine rupture which puts both the mom and the baby’s life at risk. It almost always leads to an epidural and other drugs to help deal with those unnaturally strong contractions and when a woman is drugged, the meds also go to the baby, which again can lead to fetal distress. Moreover, when the epidural is given it can stall labour so even more meds are needed.
At that point however, the labour will be labelled as “failure to progress” and a C/S is the most likely outcome. Many women are even told that it is an emergency because the child’s life is at risk and indeed many times it may be. But it is an emergency that has been caused by the initial intervention.
Inducing also automatically means that women most likely cannot walk around in labour, are mostly confined to the bed, given an IV and catheter and are not “allowed” to eat or drink.. The position that women are forced to take in the hospital is the worst position to give birth in, not allowing for gravity to help and making the pelvis smaller than in other positions. The baby is less able to go into the right position and descend into the birth canal. Women are often made to push before the body is ready and the baby is in the optimal position just because they are at a magical number of 10cm which can mean very little and can spend hours pushing the baby out because of this. This can also lead to fetal distress, can lead to fatigue (especially if the woman has been starved for hours) and often leads to more interventions such as the use of the vacuum or Forceps and or lead to a C/S. There will be many reasons given for these interventions (pelvis too small, baby too big etc… ) mostly it is just the simple result of being in an unnatural birthing position just because it gives the best view to the doctor.
Because, of course, the doctors view and comfort is more important than the health and wellbeing of the woman giving birth and the baby coming out. (/sarcasm)
Another risk to induction (breaking the waters or giving meds) is cord prolapse. If the baby is not in the optimal position and labour is induced, or the waters are broken even in a natural birth, just to make things “go faster”, or really for no reason other than the doctor or midwife wanting to intervene, the cord may come out before the babies head especially since the mom is most likely laying down with gravity working against her. Cord prolapse is dangerous and makes for an automatic C/S and is often directly caused by the procedure. It is highly unlikely to happen naturally. When the waters break before labour starts it is often due from pressure that head puts on the membranes and the head with gravity works as a plug not letting the cord go by. Most often however, the membrane will rupture near the end of labour when the head is engaged and the mom is in active labour making cord prolapse virtually impossible.
Induction, especially artificially breaking the water also rises the risk of infection which can lead to problems with mom and baby later on also. However having the waters broken is not the problem in this case it is the whole intervention of “checking” to cervix that is the most likely cause of infection. The rule of thumb with broken waters is to keep hands away.
Induction, not just inducing labour, but other interventions that often go hand in hand with inducing labour put so many lives at risk and too often lead to C-Sections and further health problems. C/S, epidural use and other interventions make the breastfeeding rate decline which puts children and their moms at even higher risk for other medical problems later on in life, and often nulls the chance of a natural birth and puts the mom and future babies at risk also. It also has a very real effect on the natural microbiological gut flora.
There are so many other things that can go wrong because of the interventions that have taken the place of natural childbirth. Many women really don’t know or understand the risks of all of the interventions and instead just put all of their trust in others instead of themselves, and if something goes wrong then it is others that are to blame or it isn’t even know that it is a risk and then the doc is the hero at the end of it without realizing that the doc was also the cause.
Inductions are rising, C/S are rising and labour and birth are just becoming riskier and riskier because of it. The fear of childbirth is rising and the lack of trust in the body and in what is natural is being replaced by it. Doctors are the biggest problem in this and that women have been taught to put all of their trust in them is one of the saddest parts of birth today.