Induction and why its best to opt for baby led labour
You’re almost ready to pop and you are so over being pregnant. You’re uncomfortable, tired, waddling and you just want your body back to yourself. Why wouldn’t you take up an offer of induction?
Well, assuming baby is doing well in there; growing, kicking, pummeling your bladder… And assuming you, apart from being fed up, are feeling good, and of course that there are no medical reasons to be induced, induction is not the way to go.
Induction is an external manipulation of your labour, either mechanically (a sweep or breaking the waters) or chemically (using a prostaglandin gel or Syntocinon drip) . It’s interfering with the natural process and therefore, and it makes labour and birth more difficult.
Induced labour is usually more painful than a physiological labour. Syntocinon (aka pitocin) produces strong contractions often without the gentle build up and endorphin release of natural contractions. In addition unlike natural oxytocin, syntocinon does not cross the blood-brain barrier to create the spaced-out, relaxed feelings that help women to cope with pain (see previous post). Not surprisingly, first time mothers are more than 3x more likely to opt for an epidural (Selo-Ojeme et al. 2011) during an induction.
Our clients have told us they have been recommended induction because their baby ‘appears’ big on a scan, they are ‘post dates’ (the WHO describes ‘prolonged labour’ as post 42 weeks), they are an older mum to be, they are pregnant as a result of IVF, its Christmas and lots of other reasons.
When deciding if you should consent to induction use your BRAINS:
B – what are the Benefits?
R – what are the Risks?
A – what are the alternatives?
I – what do your instincts tell you?
N – what happens if we do nothing?
S – Smile!
You could also come to our Baby Led Labour workshop which is free of charge and will help you learn to navigate unnecessary interventions and support spontaneous labour!