There are many ways in which labor can start. Some have contractions that get more intense as time goes on, while others have their water break and the contractions slowly start from there. Then there are women who have to have their labor induced.
It is pretty self-explanatory; labor induction is when a woman’s body is ‘forced’ medically to go into labor before it is ready. This happens for many reasons. The most common reason for an induction is that a woman has gone too far past her due date. Some other reasons would include medical conditions like preeclampsia or that the baby is not thriving while in the womb and would do better if it were to be born.
Induction may not be ideal, but if it is for a medical reason, it is necessary and understandable. There are women out there who want to be induced because they want the baby out. That is also understandable, pregnancy gets really hard near the end when mom-to-be is incredibly uncomfortable. However, there are 20 reasons why mom really doesn’t want to go through an induced labor.
20. The Risk Is Higher For C-Section Births
Even if a mom wants to be induced, she still plans on having a natural birth. There are not a lot of people out there who want to have an induction and a C-section. A C-section, though necessary at times, is still a major operation with a long recovery time. A recovery period that no one has time for when they also have a newborn to take care of.
There is a higher risk of a C-section for a mom who has an induced labour. This is because a woman is being forced to go into labor before her body is actually ready. There could be some roadblocks along the way that may require a C-section to get the baby out.
19. The Delivery Room Is No Hotel
There is sometimes a weird phenomenon when you are in the hospital giving birth, it can feel like a little vacation. Especially if you have other children at home and you are finally getting a break. A bed all to yourself and your meals brought to you that was cooked by someone else. However, everyone reaches a point when they just want to go home.
An induced birth may mean a longer hospital stay. If the induced birth leads to a C-section, then the stay could be even longer. Since an induced birth can also take longer, most of your extended stay will be spent in labor and delivery giving birth to your child, it suddenly doesn’t sound so fun.
18. Being Induced Hurts More …
It is no surprise that childbirth hurts, it is the one thing that everyone expects when it comes to childbirth. Even moms who have never given birth before knowing that it hurts. However, they don’t know how much it hurts and for how long. An induced labor could bring even more pain than going into labor on your own.
Contractions that are being brought on by induced labour are forced. Meds are usually given to the women to force her uterus to start contracting and for her cervix to start dilating. This can make the process a bit more painful than letting a body go into labour naturally.
17. …Which Is Why You Shouldn’t Try To Do It Yourself!
One of the biggest reasons why a woman should not electively choose to be induced is because there are things she can do to try and induce labor naturally. If the only reason for wanting to be induced is because you are tired of being pregnant, there are things you can do at home to help bring it along.
Taking a long walk, eating spicy food, eating pineapple, or drinking special teas are all ways of naturally inducing labor. This should only be done if you have at least reached your due date, and the best part is that it brings on labor without the risks attached with a medical induction.
16. ‘Stretched Out’ Is An Understatement
Along with being painful, childbirth is also known to be long. Going into labor on your own can also last days. First-time moms can be labour for days, and it can be exhausting. Luckily, the more children you have the shorter labours generally become. An induction can also last days. It can take just a few hours to induce labour, but it can also take 2 to 3 days.
This will depend on how your body responds to the method of induction the doctor has chosen. It will also likely take longer if this is your first pregnancy, or you are earlier than 37 weeks pregnant. This is again due to your body being forced to go into labor when it may not be ready yet.
15. Timing Is Much More Important
There are many different ways a woman can be induced. She can be given meds to try and soften her cervix to trigger labor, she can get her membranes swept, and she can have her water broken. If a woman has her water broken, a timer will start. That is because the baby needs to be born after a certain amount of time since the woman’s water has been broken.
If the baby is not delivered in a day or two after having the water broken, the women can become at risk for an infection. This is also where a C-section may come into play if the woman can not seem to have the baby naturally after the water has been broken.
14. How Does Being Induced Affect The Baby?
From the moment a woman becomes pregnant, she immediately becomes a mother. That is because all of her thoughts immediately go to caring for the baby she is growing. She makes sure she does everything possible to keep her baby safe and healthy. An induced labor can compromise everything she has worked for her whole pregnancy.
There are some risks to the baby if the labour is induced. If the pregnancy is induced too early, before the 37<sup>th</sup> week, there is a chance that the baby’s lungs have not matured yet and the baby could have trouble breathing at birth. They also may have a higher risk of long-term developmental problems.
13. Interventions Are Likely
It makes sense that if an induced labor comes with risks, there is probably a higher chance that mom may need some interventions to help get that baby out. Induced labours are more likely to see the use of forceps or a vacuum during birth. These devices offer a little bit of assistance when it comes to getting the baby out. However, they do not come without risk.
Mom-to-be may want to think about if she is okay with these types of interventions before wanting an elective induction. It is always a good idea to have a conversation with your OB and make sure you understand the risks that come with interventions during birth before you make your decision.
12. Mom Is Strapped To The Bed (Not Literally)
This one may depend on the kind of person you are and what you prefer before deciding if it is a big deal. Some women need to move around while they are in labor, as it helps relieve some of the pain and pressure. It also helps the cervix open faster. Some women don’t mind laying on the bed and just (trying to) relax.
An induced labor means that you are probably going to be on the bed for most of it, and more likely to not be able to move around as much. This is because they will monitor you and the baby more when you are induced. Due to the risks associated with an induced birth, they need to make sure that you and the baby are doing fine.
11. The Actual Induction Can Be Painful
No one wants to add to the pain of childbirth, it hurts enough on its own. However, the actual induction itself could add more pain to a woman. A membrane sweep, which is commonly done to try and induce labour can be quite uncomfortable and even painful. Having your water broken can also be quite uncomfortable and painful.
Women who receive an induction are also more likely to want an epidural. Your all-natural birth plan may go out the window with an induction. This is because the meds that they use for inducing labour can bring on stronger contractions. The good news is that inductions are usually always done in hospital, so pain-relief will always be a button-call away.
10. It May Not Even Work (Imagine That!)
Here is the thing, an induction is not a guarantee that you will be having your baby. Most people believe that when they get induced, that means they are going to be having a baby and that is not always true. There are a lot of cases in which induction doesn’t even work. According to Pregnancybirthbaby.org.au, about 25% of inductions don’t even work.
If the induction does not work, the doctor may decide to try another method of induction. This also may be when they make the decision to do a C-section to get the baby out. Especially if they have done a procedure like breaking the water.
9. Surprisingly, Some Women Want It!
After reading through much of this article, you may be wondering who would ever want an induction? Who would want to go through something like this? Apparently, there are a lot of women out there who would like to have an induction. According to a survey that was completed by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), nine out of 10 women wouldn’t mind a labor induction even if there was no medical reason.
This is due to many reasons. They are close to their due date and incredibly uncomfortable, their doctor will be out of town around their due date, or they just want to have some control on when their baby will come. It is surprising to see how many women would want to induce their labor.
8. Snacking During Labour Is Off The Table
We all know that not eating food during labor is a thing, but it is also kind of a myth. In a non-induced birth situation, a lot of hospitals will let mom snack to keep up her energy. Since labor lasts so long, it is important for mom to keep up her energy and the only way to do that is with food. They’re not going to let you have a steak dinner, but little snacks are normally okay.
This is not the same as an induced labor. Food will be off-limits to a woman who has an induced labor. This is due to the higher rate of needing a C-section. This can be very hard on a woman since we already know that an induced labor can last much longer than a normal delivery.
7. A Great Berry Analogy For Women Looking At An Induction!
Sometimes, when things are explained to us in a way that is more relatable, we can see things a bit clearer. Dr. Holly Powell Kennedy is the president of the ACNM and a professor of midwifery at the Yale University School of Nursing. She states that the biggest problem with induction is the baby’s readiness to be born.
She used this great analogy to explain it further; “Anyone who has picked berries, they know that a berry that s ripe falls into your hand. Once that is not quite ready leaves parts on your hands and one that is not ready at all is green. Like a berry, a woman’s uterus and specifically her cervix, ripen as she gets ready to open or dilate.”
6. The Whole Emotional Process Is Interrupted
Not all of the factors with induced birth are physical. Sometimes, they are emotional as well. Pregnancy is a marathon that is leading up to the big moment, the day your baby comes. It is usually a surprise and when the moment comes, it is a big deal. Everyone goes into a panic and the endorphins start running through your body.
When labor is induced, it kind of takes the fire and life out of the whole ordeal. It interrupts the normal process of the brain and it often will not connect with the fact that a baby will be born. Mom-to-be doesn’t get to experience that thrilling moment of “my water broke!” and the fun panic that comes after.
5. The Epidural May Not Work
There is a higher rate of pain meds used when a woman has an induced labor. This is because the meds used to induce labor can bring on harder and stronger contractions. This leads more women to turn to pain-relief when they are in labor. The epidural is still one of the most popular choices when it comes to relieving discomfort when in labor.
However, the bad news is that epidurals can sometimes not work during an induced labor. There a lot of cases where the epidural did not work for women who had induced labors. What makes it worse is that not only does it not work, but now the woman is stuck to the bed and can not get up to walk around to relieve some of the pain.
4. The Baby May Still Cling To Your Insides When Induced
I firmly believe that no baby really wants to be born at all, why would they? They are in this nice, cozy place that is warm and provides them anything they want. Coming into this new world is frightening and intimidating and it can be a hard transition for a baby. This is all true when we are talking about a woman who has gone into labor naturally.
When a woman has an induced labor, the baby could cling to mom more than ever. That baby is not ready to be born, and even if it is medically necessary, it will not want to come out. This is why the need for interventions are much higher among induced births. They need to coax that baby out of the mom.
3. There May Be Grieving
The repercussions of inducing labor can last until after the baby is born as well. There are women out there who have to have induced labor for medical reasons—or even women who electively choose an induction—who grieve the process after.
Grieving is always associated with a loss of some kind. It is most commonly referred to when someone loses a loved one. However, it can also be used when a person feels like they have lost anything. This includes women who have lost out on the process and experience of having a natural birth. Losing the experience of having labor spontaneously start. This can happen especially if an induction caused something to go a bit wrong.
2. Don’t Become Too Attached To That Birth Plan
A lot of women make birth plans. These are detailed guidelines and instructions on how they would like their delivery to go. While these are all ideal situations, they don’t always go the way we want them to. We are always told that a birth plan is just a guideline, and anything can happen that could change or alter what you had wanted.
This is especially true with an induction. Inductions are unpredictable and there is no way of knowing how your body or your baby is going to respond to being induced. That is why it is sometimes best to not even have a birth plan if you know that you are going to be induced. It is much better to just go with the flow of what your labor brings you.
1. We Could List The Risks All Day
It seems like we are constantly listing the risks to having an induced birth, and that is because there are a lot of them. The risk of a C-section is not the only concern that a woman needs to be careful of when it comes to having an induced birth. If a woman has already had a previous C-section or surgery to her uterus, an induced labor could be even more dangerous, they have a higher risk of uterine rupture.
The intense contractions can also cause the placenta to detach from the wall of the uterus. Now, both of these are incredibly rare, but they can happen when a woman has her labor induced. It is a good idea to have a thorough conversation with your OB about your chance of having these happen.