Choosing to induce or not to induce a pregnancy is a decision not to be taken lightly.
Electively choosing to induce labor in a low-risk pregnancy hasn't typically been seen as the best choice because of the higher likelihood of complications. However, a recent study disproved that c-sections are of a higher risk for low-risk pregnancies with induced labors.
This new finding could lead to more inductions, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it should. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists still advises that unless needed, pregnancies should follow the natural course.
In most cases, a pregnancy is only induced if there is a health risk to the mother and/or the baby. They can also be induced if the pregnancy doesn't progress on its own after initial dilation or starts approaching 42 weeks of gestation. Induction of any kind doesn't come without risk. Induced labors require constant monitoring of the baby and have been said to be more painful due to the synthetic contractions caused by the medications used.
Still, there are some positives to having a pregnancy induced. The biggest pro is that a mom-to-be can choose when she will give birth. Knowing the day can help new parents plan out sitters for other children, coordinate work schedules, and just knowing when it will happen can reduce the anxiety of naturally waiting for labor to come.
But, of course, there are cons. Depending on the method of induction the contractions can be intense! Pitocin is the most common way to induce, but there are other ways too. Cervivdil is a pill that is taken vaginally to ripen the cervix, but if this doesn't work, Pitocin may be administered to speed things along.
Another way to induce is by using a Foley catheter which is a balloon that is inserted into the cervix and then filled with water to promote dilation and cause labor. The insertion of the balloon can be uncomfortable, but these labors tend to progress quickly and are less likely to need Pitocin. They are able to mimic natural labor in the best way. Still, if the cervical balloon fails to get the labor moving, Pitocin will likely be given as well. Pitocin is almost unavoidable in most inductions.
Going into labor naturally will happen in almost every pregnancy barring a medical risk. Electing for an induction without a medical risk, and before 42 weeks, may be deemed unnecessary by a doctor. And, it is important to keep in mind that the studies on positive induction for low-risk pregnancies are still very new. The body knows what to do and while induction really is needed for many women, it may be best just to wait it out.
Of course, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional to create the best and safest birth plan for you and your baby.
Was your pregnancy induced or did you go into labor naturally? If you had both, was there a difference in pain? Share your experiences in the comments!
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