Should I get induced?
Real Mom Problem
“Have any of you ever been induced? How did you feel about it? Would you do it again if you had the choice? I am kind of lost here.”
- 1. Experts advise inducing labor only when complications make it more dangerous for the baby to remain in the womb than to be outside
- 2. Medical reasons for induction include some cases of preeclampsia, amniotic sac rupture without labor beginning, the placenta failing to provide enough nutrients, and other complications
- 3. Ask your provider why they recommend an induction before making your decision
- 4. Weigh the risks of waiting with the risks of induction
- 5. When appropriate, research alternate methods for getting labor started
Real Mom Solutions
Women are induced for a variety of reasons; both medical and personal. Some worry that induction carries a greater risk for c-sections while others feel it's an acceptable way to give birth. Below you'll find a wide range of opinions from real moms to help you make the decision that's best for your family.
Try to Avoid Getting Induced
I was induced with my first at 41 weeks. After 40 hours of horribly painful back labor contractions; feeling more dead than alive, I had a c-section. It's a proven fact that induction nearly doubles your chances of c-section. With my third, I refused induction at 41 weeks. I had her at 41 weeks, 2 days, healthy as can be.
I definitely do not want to be induced with this pregnancy. I had a long and hard labor with my last baby. The nurse even told me that getting Pitocin makes the contractions stronger. If I were you, and could hold out, I would opt to go natural without the induction. It's not fun!
I can tell you from experience that induction is NOT worth it. I was uneducated and impatient with my first baby and was induced on my due date. It was a horrible experience that I'd never wish on anyone. Furthermore, it is always best to wait for your baby to be ready. Lots of development occurs in the last few weeks and due dates can be off by as much as a month in some cases. It is really best for your baby to be born when he or she is ready, and for some women that's 42 weeks or more (which is completely safe and healthy).
I was induced with my first because my water broke and I did not go into labor on my own. I am praying that I don't have to be induced again because it was terribly painful. I was in intense labor for 28 hours and finally had him vaginally. I couldn't get an epidural until four hours before delivery because it was still too early. I would not recommend it, but then again, every woman's experience is different. I had to stay in the hospital an extra day for fear of infection. If you can make it naturally, I would go that route.
I'm going to be honest with you, I was induced for my first and even though I didn't think I would, I found it very traumatizing. Most women who have the experience I did would feel like it was fine, but I really feel like it was a total train wreck. I started off wanting a completely natural birth, no IVs, no drugs of any kind, spontaneous labor at home, dash to the hospital last minute-like. I was told my induction was medically necessary. It wasn't. Because it was already an induction, further intervention was pushed on me other than just the Pitocin. They weren't in my birth plan and had I not been in the vulnerable position of being in labor, confined to a bed, led to believe that my blood pressure was so high my placenta was going to explode, I would not have consented. My risks were increased, my daughter suffered birth trauma because of it and I ended up with horrible guilty feelings and depression, and a really hard time breastfeeding and bonding.
I was induced with both my boys and it was HORRIBLE! I am 'overdue' with this one and will not be induced if I don't have to be! I will NEVER willfully be induced again!!
My induction was EXTREMELY painful. I had to get an epidural and pain medication immediately. When my son was born, I was so loopy I didn't realize what was going on. I had natural labors with my two daughters and the labors were so easy. Virtually no pain until the end and a faster recovery. Needless to say, I will never get induced again. Your due date isn't an expiration date, merely a guesstimation. Your baby may not be ready yet.
Check Out Induction Success Stories
Eight pregnancies, all induced, no problems with any of the labors. I even had my last four without the epidural or any pain meds.
I was induced with my first for toxemia. It went well. I'd totally do it again if I had to.
I think the worst part was the waiting. Other than that my induction was awesome! I know that not all women go through a great induced labor but there's really no way of knowing. I still want another baby and I even look forward to another delivery!
I was induced with my daughter. It wasn't for medical reasons, it was for personal reasons. I was induced at 39 weeks. It was an induced VBAC. Everything went great. I was in labor for 10 hours, pushed for one and a half, but I didn't have any problems. Honestly, I would have another baby, and I would be induced again if I had the choice.
None of it was horrible for me and I was only one centimeter dilated when I went in. I was induced because my husband is military and he came home for three days so my doctor induced me so he could be there for the actual birth. I was started on Pitocin and had my water broken and then I just hung out with my husband and friends and family in the room for a while. It was super easy and calm and relaxed. But you have to remember, everyone is different.
With my second, I was induced with no medical reason, and my labor was AWESOME. It went so smooth and nice, I couldn't ask for an easier labor. Loved it!
I was so scared when my doctor told me he wanted to induce me; I had heard the horror stories. But I took my doctor's advice and my entire labor and delivery experience was wonderful. The only issue was at one time the baby seemed stressed, but they just made me lie on my side and gave me oxygen and the baby calmed down. I was given Pitocin, a few hours later received my epidural, and she was born within eight hours. Come to find out, the cord was wrapped around her neck which was the actual cause of the stress during delivery. Good luck with whatever choice you make.
Consider Induction Without Pitocin
The only thing I would suggest is stripping the membranes. Even then, I would wait until 41-42 weeks. Stay away from Pitocin like it is the plague. It is a cycle....your body doesn't have HORRIBLE contractions on purpose...when you introduce Pitocin, it makes your contractions stronger and closer together. Then when you can't take the pain of the contractions (because of the Pitocin) you opt for an epidural and your chances of a c-section go WAY up; 50% at least. So I would just wait until 41-42 weeks and try doing some natural induction techniques including dancing, sitting on a birth ball, sex, walking a lot, and drinking a lot of water. Try them all before getting induced.
I was induced twice but they used Cervidil, which is a gel. They put it in your cervix and it helps dilate you without forcing your body to contract like Pitocin. It does lead to contractions but they aren't as dramatic as Pitocin ones. They feel like the natural ones you have normally and start out really slow and far apart. After I was dilated they broke my water and voila, that was it.
I can't complain about my induction, everything went well. Talk to your doctor about Cervidil and breaking the water sac, it might send you into labor without using Pitocin at all.
Know When (and When not) to Induce
I think valid medical reasons are completely acceptable as long as the benefits outweigh the risks of the situation. If someone is choosing to induce because they want their baby to have a certain birthday or because they are physically uncomfortable, that is another ball game.
For those who say that being physically uncomfortable is not a reason, how about if your hips hurt so bad you cry when you have to lie on your side and you can barely walk or move by yourself? That was my reason.
I am not going to be one to preach the whole 'you don't have to be induced' hoopla. That is your choice to make. But I will say he is VERY safe remaining in your womb, unless it starts to deteriorate. (Which usually doesn't happen until 43 weeks, and is quite rare).
If your cervix isn't thinning out and dilating you are NOT a good candidate for induction and you will most likely end up with a c-section.
Elective (non-medically necessary) inductions before 39 weeks are basically frowned upon across the board these days. Most doctors won't even consider them because of the risks they can cause.
I think an induction is necessary when either the baby or the mother is in distress. That's it.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises against inducing (using Pitocin, swiping membranes, breaking water, etc.) before 42 weeks, unless continuing the pregnancy poses a risk to the mother or baby (i.e., unstable blood sugar, preeclampsia, uncontrolled blood pressure, etc). "The pressure hurts", "I want to see my baby", "We need to schedule their arrival for family coming into town ", or the doctor stating the baby may be large are NOT valid medical reasons to induce and present more risks than benefits.