With the holidays upon us, we need to be aware that holidays are a prime time to induce for a lot of prenatal care providers. Before you consent to an unnecessary induction, please make sure you are aware of all of the risks that can be involved. The most reliable sign that the baby is ready to be born safely is labor beginning on its own at full-term. (Childbirth Connection)
Full-term could be anywhere from 37-42 weeks of gestation. However, research has shown that babies born before 39 weeks have a higher risk of several health problems than babies born from 39 weeks on. Induction should never be used before 39 weeks unless there is a clear medical reason.
Not only can induction cause health problems for the baby, it can also cause a waterfall of interventions, and ultimately you are at a higher risk of having a cesarean. Women who choose to be induced are more likely to request an epidural, and are also continuously hooked up to at intravenous line (IV), continuous electronic fetal monitoring as well as medication after delivery to prevent hemorrhage, which in the end prohibits free body movements and can ultimately slow down labor progress. Some other risks that are associated with induction is the uterus can be overstimulated, which can cause it too contract too frequently. Contracting too frequently can lead to changes in the fetal heart rate, and umbilical cord problems. Some other problems can be placenta abruption and uterine rupture.
If you are considering induction for any reason you should know what your Bishop score is. Health care providers use the Bishop score to rate the readiness of the cervix for labor using a number scale from 0-13. If you score less than 6, then your cervix probably isn’t ready for labor.
Some reason’s why a doctor might want to induce are you are one to two weeks past your due date, your water breaks on its own but labor doesn’t start, or you have a health condition such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, bleeding or an infection in your uterus.
One of the things I’ve noticed year after year is that there is an increase in the induction rates just before holidays, but truly a lot of them occur before the winter holidays, oh and the end of the tax year. I remember one year I had three women due around Thanksgiving. One went into spontaneous labor the Sunday before Thanksgiving. One choose to be induced Monday morning so that she could be home in time for Thanksgiving (She was 38 weeks.) and the third choose to be induced that Tuesday for the same reason. I was crazy busy – but so were the hospitals. My clients who were scheduling induction kept getting bumped by others in the same situation. The real kicker here is that none of these women had medical reasons to be induced. Childbirth Educator, Robin Elise Weiss