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Friday, September 4, 2009

When Labor May Be Induced

Health Tip: When Labor May Be Induced

My Responses are in BLUE
(HealthDay News) -- Labor is induced in about 20 percent of U.S. pregnant women, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says.
Labor may be induced -- causing the woman's cervix to open in preparation for a vaginal birth -- if the health of the mother or baby is threatened, the ACOG says. Here are some possible reasons for labor induction:
  • If the woman is more than 42 weeks pregnant. -- WHY? There have been no studies showing an indication for routine induction past an EDD (ESTIMATED due date) which could be off by two weeks or more. Ask yourself, how many women do you know have been induced or pressured to induce WELL BEFORE 42 weeks of pregnancy? Most inductions, in fact, are done between 38 and 40 weeks, which is leading to a risk of pre-term and low birth weight babies, who are then sent to the NICU, have to fight off infection, have more breathing problems, at a huge cost to the parents and the country.
  • If the woman has pregnancy-related high blood pressure. Granted, pre-eclampsia and/or eclampsia can be a definite medical reason for induction.. however, careful monitoring, home treatment including bed rest, as well as proper nutrition, rest, and prenatal care will go far in preventing and treating pregnancy related high blood pressure.
  • If the woman has a uterine infection. To be determined how and by whom? The body is not inept at caring for a pregnant mother and her unborn baby.. in fact, infections of many sorts can cause labor to begin, even pre-term. Therefore, for a woman to not go into labor while having an infection would raise the question of if there is an infection in the first place. Not all documented infections would require something as drastic as induction of labor, either! Again, careful monitoring, perhaps treatment of the infection and/or bed rest, fluids and more are chosen by women all over the world.
  • If the woman has a condition called placental abruption, where the placenta pulls away from the inner wall of the uterus. This may actually lead doctors to decide to deliver the baby by Cesarean section. This one I would not question as far as choosing to make sure mom and baby are safe... while some abruptions heal, many do not, however they are very RARE. What I do question is stimulating a uterus that is already having a bleeding problem.. medically with artificial/synthetic drugs. Be sure to find out the risks and benefits of any and all procedures before proceeding.
  • If the woman's water breaks too early. Breaks too early for what or whom? Your body will continue to make amniotic fluid, particularly if there is no dehydration issue. A few simple rules of not inserting things vaginally reduces/minimizes infection. Ask yourself if your doctor is on a time table. Avoid going to the hospital.. one of the most likely places to pick up an infection and avoid VE's (vaginal exams)!
As with all cases, every labor and birth is different and sometimes things take an unexpected turn. What I would like to remind you is that birth is a NORMAL, HEALTHY EVENT. It is not the medical crisis that surgeons (ob/gyns) are trained to expect. Believe in your body, believe in yourself! Educate yourself. Ask informed consent questions:
WHAT procedure or course of treatment are you recommending?
WHY are you recommending it? Is this the "ways it's done" or are there other options?
HOW would it be done and what are the risks/benefits?
WHEN would it need to be done and what would happen if we wait?
WHERE will I see improvement? Where can I find more resources on this?
An induction quickly becomes a cascade of interventions.... some you may not have planned on or expected. Believe in the power of birth-- your body is not broken! Your body is an amazing well of knowledge, nature, wisdom, beauty, power, and strength!
Written by Kimberly Sebeck, Certified Doula & Childbirth Educator, Mom to a Tween
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