If your baby hasn’t arrived on the ‘due date’, an induction is generally proposed quite soon afterwards.
Let’s look at this for a moment. For nine months your baby has grown undisturbed inside you. There have been checks to make sure all is well but, in general, everyone has trusted this miraculous process. Suddenly this date arrives on which such store has been placed and everything changes. Now the presumption is that the baby no longer knows best and that nature may have got it wrong.
My personal observation is that we meddle at our peril. Which of course is not to say that there are no circumstances where intervention is necessary and even beneficial. To claim that would be stupid and dangerous and, as a hypnobirthing teacher, I cannot give medical advice, but I receive a great many birth reports from mothers and I hear what they have to say. Yes, there are risks in a pregnancy which goes beyond 42 weeks (the World Health Organization’s definition of the natural length of pregnancy is 37 – 42 weeks), but this has to be offset against the risks of an induced labour which is frequently the beginning of a cascade of interventions possibly leading to an epidural, a vantouse delivery, forceps or even a caesarean section.
According to Ina May Gaskin the risks of a caesarean section are grossly under-reported, and it also needs to be taken into an account that, with an induced labour, you are confined to bed so cannot use a birthing pool, and in a position where the pelvic capacity is much less than in, for example, a squatting position. Many mothers also report that it is much less comfortable than being free to move around and assume whichever position seems right for them at the time – and no-one can tell them what this might be.
It is a situation where you are wise to ask questions about all the alternatives available, about the pros and cons of them all, so that you can be part of the decision making process. Remember that any intervention can only be done with informed consent. Remember too that the medical profession faces dilemmas daily and are subject to pressures of their own.
If you want to be included in the decision making process you too are part of the dilemma. Remember too that it’s your body and your baby. Keep your focus on what you want to achieve, and listen to the advice you are given seriously and carefully.
Find out more information by downloading our Induction of Labour Fact Sheet in our free resources.