Gail J. Dahl, “Pregnancy & Childbirth Secrets”

Well I figured I write about this all of the time- maybe it would be good to share another professional’s view of induction. Here is a link to her blog as well

10 Reasons to Avoid Induction

A common decision today’s parents will face during childbirth is birth induction. A birth induction happens when the labor of a pregnant woman is artificially started. Today’s parents need to know why it is important to avoid birth induction and why it is important to allow labor to begin normally and naturally without any interference. Here are the reasons you would want to avoid induction in childbirth:

1. If you induce the birth of your baby you will be at risk of delivering a premature baby. New studies are showing that babies who are even slightly premature have more problems at birth and beyond. There is no proven health benefit to forcing your baby from the womb before your baby has had enough time to properly develop. Even in the last few days before the birth of your baby, last minute finishing touches are ongoing. The final layers of fat are placed, the lungs are receiving the finishing touches even as you are going through labor. All of this will help your baby to be comfortable in a change of environment. Your baby will most likely be ready ten days after your estimated due date, especially if you are a first time mother. There are no studies showing any benefit whatsoever to artificially starting labor and there are many studies showing the risk of premature birth to every baby. Wait for your labor to begin normally and naturally.

2. If you induce your labor, your labor will become more painful and prolonged. Your contractions will be too long, too strong and too close together causing your baby to have difficulty breathing and your contractions to be less effective.

3. If you induce your labor you may not be ready physiologically or emotionally to give birth without your baby signaling to your body the exact time it is ready and able to labor. Inducing labor, by any means, will cause unnecessary stress on your body and your baby.

4. If you induce your labor, your baby may experience harm caused by the mechanical force of the artificial contractions that can damage your baby’s brain and affect your baby’s ability to breathe.

5. If you induce your labor you may be at risk of secondary infertility due to the increase of the risk of damage to your uterus caused by uterine rupture.

6. If you induce your labor you may be at risk of bleeding throughout your labor and after childbirth because of the damage caused to your uterus by the induction drugs creating a greater difficulty in caring for the new baby along with the increased possibility of prolonged postnatal depression caused by the induction drugs.

7. If you induce your labor you will not be able to experience a natural birth due to the increased pain during labor. The narcotics used in a epidural cross the placenta and cause increased stress on your baby as the narcotics hit your baby’s immature liver and brain causing a decrease in the cardiac and brain function. Your baby will find it hard to breathe because of this. Your baby will have great difficulty breastfeeding because of the afterlife of the narcotics. Very few women are able to have an induced birth without additional drugs to handle the increased pain from the artificial contractions.

8. If you induce your labor you will unknowingly trigger a cascade of medical interventions like, strong medications to force your cervix open, multiple narcotic drugs for increased pain, continuous fetal monitoring, forceps delivery or the use of a vacuum extractor; when the attempt at the induction fails.

9. If you induce your labor you will become a high risk for emergency cesarean delivery, (as high as 50%) as many induced labors fail and leave both mom and baby in medical distress. In the case of an extreme medical emergency, for either mom or baby, consider bypassing induction and going right to a cesarean section. Adding induction drugs to an already stressed mother and baby may cause additional damages to both. Allowing a woman to labor naturally before a cesarean section will help to further develop the baby’s lungs.

10. If you don’t induce your labor, and allow your labor to begin normally; your labor will be less painful, your labor will be shorter and more productive, (your body will be ready for it), your baby will be able to breathe, you will reduce your risk of cesarean section, you will reduce the health costs associated with your birth, you will have less need for pain medication, you will have a shorter delivery, you will have a faster recovery and you and your baby will be healthier as a result. Your baby will breastfeed more easily and you will find it easier to bond and attach to your new baby. If you are anxious about your baby’s arrival, make sure everything is ready for the baby’s arrival, the house is clean, groceries are purchased, banking done, extra food prepared, official registration papers for your baby and the myriad of other things you will need to take care of at this time. Avoiding a labor induction is one of the best secrets to having a safe and gentle labor and delivery for both mother and baby.

Secrets Newsletter 2008. Gail J. Dahl, “Pregnancy & Childbirth Secrets”.