NICE have recently updated their guidelines on induction of labour. These can be found on their website here if you would like to read them in full but there are a few parts that stand out to me.
Induction of labour has become a worldwide epidemic. In some circumstances induction is absolutely necessary but more often than not, the reasons given to parents – you are overdue, too small, too big, not progressing – are not based on good science. Invariably, women are told about the risks of NOT having an induction, rarely are they told of the risk of consenting.
Sweeps for all at 39 weeks
The guidelines say that a cervical sweep should be offered to all women at 39 weeks. Great news – so you’ll get to meet your baby sooner? And anyway, a sweep is not induction of labour, is it? Yes, it is!
A sweep is interfering with the body’s ability to birth – something women have been doing very successfully for millennia! Any intervention – medical or not – is an attempt to persuade your body to go into labour before your baby is ready to be born.
Inductions for all at 41 weeks
The guidelines also advise all pregnancies to be induced at 41 weeks, and many before that, at 40 or even 39 weeks. In KGH we explain there is no such thing as a due date – babies arrive when they are ready, many up to 42 weeks (some even longer). It is the baby who instigates labour when all its organs are mature and ready for the world.
Cascade of interventions
The ‘cascade of interventions’ is a real thing, only too real if you are a woman who has been coerced into agreeing to it. Of course, there are medical reasons where inductions are completely necessary. However, if you are offered an induction for no medical reason other than the length of gestation, ask your caregivers for evidence and research of the benefits of proceeding, and the benefits of not proceeding too. Always. Ask. Questions!
Research by Hannah Dahlen found that if you have an induction for no medical reason, you’re more likely to have a baby that’s distressed and your chance of having a caesarean is more than double.
Think very carefully. Remember that, very often, BABY KNOWS BEST.
What can you do?
Come to the KGHypnobirthing course to understand that you have choices, and the possible implications of the choices you make. We give you all the evidence and discuss your options so you can make informed decisions about anything you are offered.
Find out more information by downloading our Induction of Labour Fact Sheet in our free resources.