10 Reasons to Avoid Inducing Your Labor
Inducing labor might seem like a common practice, but it may not always be the best option for you. Whether it's due to medical reasons or personal preferences, it's important for you to be informed about the pros and cons of inducing labor and make informed decisions about your childbirth experience. So, let's dive into why you might want to hold off on scheduling that induction date.
1) Your Baby Isn't Ready
Babies know when it's time for them to be born. It's not our bodies that start labor, but the baby's. Scientists have found that when a baby's lungs are fully developed, a protein there makes the uterus start to have contractions. If you force the baby to be born before this happens, their lungs may not be ready and they could have trouble breathing or be smaller than expected. This could also make it harder for them to breastfeed. It's best to let the baby decide when they're ready to be born, unless there are medical reasons to do otherwise. Every baby is different and some may need more time to develop before they're born.
2) Your Body Isn't Ready
Induction should only happen when there's a good reason for it. If your body isn't ready for labor to start, induction may not work and could lead to complications. The Bishop Score measures the likelihood that induction will be successful. You only need to know your Bishop Score if you have a medical reason for induction. Otherwise, trust your body to start labor when it's ready. Avoid vaginal exams during pregnancy to help keep your confidence in your body's ability to go into labor.
3) Your Labor Will Be Harder
If you're hoping for an unmedicated birth, don't opt for induction. Induced contractions are not the same as natural ones and can be stronger, closer together, and last longer. This can make labor harder for both you and your baby. Inductions can also lead to a loss of natural hormones and endorphins, making it harder to cope with labor. Women who've had both induced and unmedicated births often prefer unmedicated because the experience is more natural and milder. To have the best birth experience, trust your body to do its thing.
4) You Aren't JUST Agreeing to Induce Labor
Inducing labor can lead to added restrictions and medical interventions during birth. You may need an IV, continuous monitoring, and an epidural for pain relief. This can limit your movement and increase the chances of needing assistance or a c-section. Induced labor can also result in back pain and the need for a urinary catheter, which can cause discomfort and increase the risk of infection. When you interfere with the natural process of birth, it can lead to additional complications.
5) Pitocin SUCKS!
Pitocin, also known as Oxytocin, Syntocinon, or The Drip, is not the same as the natural love hormone produced during labor. Natural oxytocin helps with relaxation, bonding, and breastfeeding, but Pitocin cannot cross the blood-brain barrier and can cause strong, painful contractions without endorphin release. Pitocin has been called "Liquid Hellfire" and is seen as a toxic alternative to natural oxytocin.
6) Your Induction Could Fail
Induction may fail if the baby isn't ready. It could take longer or result in a c-section. Cervadil, an easy induction method, can be removed if contractions are too strong. If gel is used, it can't be removed. Pitocin, given through IV, can cause fetal distress and be hard on the body. If Pitocin is turned off, the baby may recover and labor could start naturally. However, it's more likely the dosage will be increased or not turned off, resulting in a c-section for "failure to progress."
7) Increased Risk of Cesarean (Especially if this is your first baby)
Induction of labor in first-time mothers increases risk of c-section. 1 in 3 women in North America have a primary c-section, many of which are due to induction for going past due date. Future pregnancies are at risk with c-section. Few care providers offer vaginal birth after c-section. Finding VBAC-supportive provider becomes harder. WHO recommends c-section rate to be 10-15% for low-risk women. Rising induction rate leads to rising c-section rate. To avoid c-section, choose right provider and avoid induction unless necessary.
8) Your Baby Might NOT be "Overdue"
A "due date" is often misleading to women as it is estimated and only a small percentage of women actually go into labor on their due date. The last few weeks of pregnancy can be challenging and uncomfortable, but most women will go into labor by 42 weeks and almost all will have their baby by 43 weeks. It's important to remember that the average gestation for a first-time mother is 41 weeks and 3 days, meaning there are women who will go into labor earlier or later. Monitoring every few days after 41 weeks can ensure the health of the baby and there is no harm in waiting a few more days to see if labor will start naturally. Avoiding induction unless medically necessary can help reduce the chances of having a c-section.
9) A "Big Baby" is Nothing to Fear
It's common for mothers to hear that they need to induce labor because their baby might get "too big". But, in reality, it's not accurate to predict a baby's size based on late-term ultrasound. Babies grow at different rates and the skeleton is fully formed by the end of the second trimester. In the final month, the baby just gains fat, which is squishy and only adds a little weight. There is no evidence to support inducing for a "too big" or "too small" baby without other medical problems. It's just a scare tactic, so don't be fooled.
10) You Don't Need to Schedule Labor Just in Case You "Go Fast"
Many first-time mothers worry about not making it to the hospital in time for delivery, but most labors are long and there's usually enough time. There's also a chance that you may give birth faster than you expected, but it's not always a bad thing. You can still have a safe birth even if you don't make it to the hospital. It's important to be prepared and understand that birth can be unpredictable. You are the decision maker when it comes to your birth, so if you feel pressured to induce, you have the right to decline it. If you don't want to induce, you can say no. The key is to stay calm and trust in your body's ability to give birth.
Labor induction is a common topic of discussion among expectant mothers, especially for first-time moms. It's important to be aware of the reasons why you may be offered induction and to weigh the pros and cons. We understand that making decisions about induction can be overwhelming and confusing, which is why we have created a comprehensive resource for expectant mothers.
By downloading our "8 Critical Questions to Ask Before Agreeing to an Induction," mini guide, you'll get a list of the most important questions you need to ask before you agree to induce your labor. You'll also receive a short email series with more tips and information that will help you make informed decisions and avoid any high-pressure tactics that care providers may use. This list will give you the confidence and knowledge to make the best decision for you and your baby. So, don't wait, grab it today and take control of your birth experience.