Induction of Labor | 10 Questions to Ask | 5 Things You Can Do Now
It’s true, most babies will come when they are ready for life outside the womb, but sometimes induction of labor is suggested by the care giver or desired by the pregnant person. ACOG recommendations support a normal, full-term pregnancy lasting between 39 weeks and 0 days and 41 weeks and 6 days as long as both the mother and the baby are doing well and there is no medical indication for the induction.
I’m facing an induction of labor. Now what?
If this suggestion was based primarily on dates alone and you are within the range of normal and full-term (see ACOG above) first ask yourself how are you feeling about this suggestion. Sit with that for a minute and reflect.
Are you feeling kosher with the idea?
If yes, there’s nothing wrong with that. Many moms share your excitement and enthusiasm to have their baby in their arms now rather than later. If no, that’s perfectly normal as well. It’s a very personal decision either way. The next thing to do would be to talk with your provider about his/her suggestion.
10 Great Questions to Ask Your Provider are:
1. For what reason(s) are you suggesting induction of labor?
2. Can we try some alternatives?
3. What methods of induction are you familiar with and most comfortable using?
4. What induction method do you recommend for me?
5. What are the risks and benefits of induction of labor?
6. How will this affect my birth preferences?
7. Would you be comfortable sending me for a Biophysical Profile (BPP) and or a Nonstress Test (NST) and reviewing those results with me before scheduling the induction?
8. Can you tell me my Bishop Score?
9. At what point would a cesarean birth be indicated?
10. If I elect to be induced can I choose the date and who my caregivers will be?
Not sure you got an answer or you didn’t understand the answer? That’s okay; communication is the key to feeling heard. Ask again, maybe in a different way.
Again, sit with it and reflect on these answers.
If there is no medical indication for induction you have real time to think it through! Even in medically indicated inductions there’s at least some time for you to process and make decisions.
With medical induction of labor, like any other pregnancy related decision there is usually array of emotions involved.
Here are 5 things you can do now to prepare:
1. Get into a good headspace. While most babies come when they are ready, some don’t and for good reason. Birth can safely take place at home and in birth centers and hospitals. Feeling respected and validated can lead to rewarding birth experiences!
2. Breathe and practice guided meditation, affirmations, and mantras to help prepare your body and your mind for the experience of birth. Some of my personal favorites are: My baby knows where and how she needs to be born. I trust the process. I will meet my baby soon.
3. Become familiar with Informed Consent and Informed Refusal. Let it bring you some peace about being in control as much as possible.
4. Do something for you! Get a massage and a pedicure, take a walk on the beach, swim, or do whatever makes you smile and helps you feel good. If you feel the need to do something more you can visit spinningbabies.com and do some positioning exercises.
5. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Birth can and usually does happen when we least expect it to. Don’t give away your homebirth supplies or throw plan A away just yet.
While being induced increases your chances of having a cesarean birth and can initially bring with it disappointment, it doesn’t mean you are doomed to a bad birth.
When we prepare to embrace the experience rather than the method in which our children enter our lives we can learn so much! It isn’t how we birth or come to be parents that makes us great parents, but rather how we embrace our greatest gift– our children and how we adapt while performing our greatest job–parenting.
Taking a great childbirth preparation class like the Confident Birth & Parenting Class or The Prepared Parent Childbirth Class will increase you and your birth partner’s confidence and help you embrace birth and parenting no matter what you want or need!
Happy birth and parenting!