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Pregnancy Health: Should I Induce My Labor

Updated on June 23, 2015

The Initial Joy

A mother finds out that she is expecting a baby. This can be a happy or scary moment in time, but for many it is good news. You can’t wait to tell your friends and family and you are so ready to start bonding with this little person living inside of you. You make preparations, make plans, and pick out a name. Everything just sounds exciting.

As the months go by, the feelings began to change and morph into something else. This excitement turns into agitation, as you find yourself wanting the days to speed up. Instead of spending your time researching cute and cuddly things, you now find yourself researching ways to induce labor. You find yourself wondering, “Hmm, what can I do naturally, to help baby come out.” Your patience seems to be running out each day you don’t find yourself in labor.

Many mother’s experience feelings like this and truly seek ways to go into labor before their due date. However, is this safe?

What is "Induced Labor" and is it Safe

Americanpregnancy.org defines it this way: "Inducing labor is the artificial start of the birth process through medical interventions or other methods."

Is this practice safe? The answer to that question depends upon a few things such as:

  • The health of the mother
  • The health of the baby
  • How far along is the mother
  • What methods you choose

There are some safe techniques that many mothers try to help encourage baby along the way. I have tried some of these methods but to no avail, that is why I truly believe a baby will come when he is ready. However, there are many stories of mothers who have used some of these techniques with success.

Techniques many mothers attest too includes membrane sweeping, using castor oil, acupuncture, evening primrose, raspberry leaf, and spicy foods.

If a mother is in good health and there are no health concerns for her or the baby, then inducing labor isn’t in the best interest for the baby. It may seem like forever, but your baby will come soon (or when he is naturally ready).

Mothers who choose to try and encourage baby along naturally want to be sure to get their doctors "ok" before try any techniques, supplements or herbs. Although natural, if not done properly, even these methods can pose a risk to your baby's health.

Some doctors may suggest scheduled births because of health concerns
Some doctors may suggest scheduled births because of health concerns

What If Your Doctor Wants to Induce You

Some doctors may choose to induce a mother because of health concerns.

1. Gestational diabetes

2. Preeclampsia

3. Baby isn't getting what it needs from the placenta

4. Mother is beyond 42 weeks pregnant

5. Water has broken but no labor has started

Medications and methods can include: pitocin, artificial rupture of membranes, or prostaglandin.

It is important to ask and do research beforehand what methods your doctor will be using in the event that you do decide to be induced. There are advantages and disadvantages with each method. In the event that one of the methods don't work, it is important to find out too what your doctor plans to do. Some plan to do an immediate c-section if the inducement doesn't go as planned.

I was induced twice during my pregnancy years. The first time was because my water had broken, but labor did start in a reasonable amount of time. The second time I was lead to believe that my baby would be too "big" if I didn't get induced (she was the smallest of all my babies).

Both times I received pitocin. Pitocin has been known to cause extremely painful contractions and it did this in my case. The pain is just indescribable. Both births were performed without having to result in a c-section, although one did have to stay for jaundice. I would advise any mother to educate themselves on labor inducement and safe alternative measures that they can take. It is important to consider the risks involved so that you can ensure that you are making an informed decision.

Health Risk with Inducing Your Labor

 
 
 
Infant low heart rate
Increased risk for infection
Excessive bleeding in mother
Umbilical cord prolaspe
Increased risk for jaudice
Risk for premature birth
Health risks should be weighed when considering inducement

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