Natural labor and delivery seem to be less and less common these days. While many Moms are doing home births and natural labors at birthing centers, most are under surgical care in hospitals and clinics. Unfortunately, this medical approach to possibly the most natural occurence ever has created sky rocketing c-section rates and low breastfeeding success in the USA. It often involves induction, starting labor before the body is ready, and c-section, major surgery to remove baby from a woman’s body.
While these procedures where designed to be used in no-other-option situations, they have turned into common place practice. I have two December babies and while I accepted an induction, which lead to a c-section, with my first (and horribly regret it) I knew to refuse when I was offered with my 3rd. My OB said “Do you want to be induced so you can be home for Christmas?” No. No. No. Here are my top 10 reasons to avoid Induction and let baby come when he/she is ready.
1. Induction is more likely to lead to a C-Section, especially if you’ve never given birth before and your cervix has not ripened on it’s own. (1)
2. Medications used for induction cause increased contractions which may lower baby’s oxygen and heart rate. (1)
3. Induction increases risk of infection for both Mom and baby (1)
4. Increased risk of umbilical cord prolapse with induction. This occurs when the cord slips into the vagina and can become compressed and lower baby’s oxygen supply. (1)
5. When baby’s lungs are developed they release a protein which signals labor to begin, starting labor before this time may lead to underdeveloped lungs. (2,3)
6. Your “due date” may be off by 1-2 weeks before or after the date you are given. Inducing based on this date, even with modern technology, may be unnecessary (4)
7. Inducing labor may not allow your uterus to properly contract after delivery, leading to increased risk of bleeding (1)
8. C-section rates in the USA have jumped from 4.5% in 1965 to 32.8% in 2010 and 2011. This is very high compared to other countries and partially blamed on produces like induction (5)
9. Increased medical intervention often including cervical dilation, breaking of water, IV, epidural, catheter, monitoring, medications, more time in a bed and time spent in the hospital.
10. Labor induction may cause mature breastmilk to come in late and cause a ‘booby trap’ decreasing breastfeeding success rates (6)
While in some cases induction is necessary (I have a dear friend who wandered around at 6cm dilated for weeks without labor beginning on it’s own), it is often used for either the Mom’s or Doctor’s convenience.While some OBs are on nature’s side, others would love to schedule all their deliveries, surgical or not, so they can be home for dinner and the Holidays. Make sure to thoroughly discuss this with your provider and make sure you know the how, when and why for these procedures. My OB said to me “Lots of Moms ask to be induced so they’re not in the hospital on the Holiday.” If you are the type of person who doesn’t want to be in the Hospital on a holiday…plan your pregnancy/due date by following ovulation and getting pregnant in an ideal month. Ultimately this decision is up to you in consultation with your practitioner and however your baby enters this world, congratulations!
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*Information here is provided for educational purposes only, please consult with your doctor or midwife for personalized care. This is in no way meant to diagnose or treat any condition.