Induction, on the clock!

It’s fair to say that once I’d completed my Hypnobirthing course as an expectant first time mum, I felt extremely confident in the type of birth I wanted. This was great…. I could start planning, but the one big hurdle to that amazing birth vision I had now set my sights on was INDUCTION or being INDUCED. Even before Josie was edging further and further past her “due date” I just knew it would be a subject that I would need to give some thought to.

According the National Maternity Statistics published in 2018, the rate of inductions has dramatically increased in recent years. From just over 20% in 2007-08 to over 33% in 2017-18 and trends show this number has most likely increased by 2019-20. Which begs the question why?

Any form of induction (medical or non-medical) is a method of trying to persuade your body to go into labour before your baby is ready. This can be justified if it is deemed in the best interests of baby, mother or sometimes both.

As my “due date” came and went I felt like I quite literally hit the end of the pregnancy roadmap. My pregnancy tracker app just simply stopped counting past the 40 weeks mark and suddenly I felt a lot of pressure from my local midwife to get out of the fast lane and book my induction in, as I was holding up traffic behind me!!!

As I hit the 42-week mark people started to count my pregnancy not just in weeks but in days, which really pilled the pressure on. Earlier in my pregnancy especially in the 1st trimester I used to count the weeks and days as seemed to be a positive but suddenly I was 42+2 and had seriously exhausted the timeline of what’s an acceptable amount of time to be pregnant.

Don’t get me wrong I was so over being pregnant and was becoming pretty desperate in my attempt to get this little lodger evicted as she had definitely overstayed her welcome.  I remember Googling on a daily basis. ‘What is the worlds’ longest pregnancy?’ not my happiest moment as I read the answer of 375 days, which is a whopping 95 days past 40 weeks!

Next, I Googled “Am I missing the birth hormone?’ or “Is my baby broken?”. Just as I was about to crack under the pressure, anticipation and pure boredom of finding new ways to say “yes, I’m still pregnant” the little lady made an appearance at 42+2. 1 day shy of the induction scheduled for her.

I did avoid induction, narrowly, and I know many people who don’t. Of course, many people actually welcome the opportunity to meet their baby earlier and I must add if I had been presented with any evidence that Josie’s health or mine was in danger I would have of course obliged. But I do often encourage my clients to revisit the simple question of why are they being offered an induction and what is it that they want?

If this is you:

  • Please spend some time investigating all the different methods of induction and the benefits and risks for each. This is something you can speak to your medical providers about, but I always recommend doing your own research.
  • Asking the right questions that matter to you. For me I wanted to know the increased risk of stillbirth if I refused an induction. To this I was told the rate doubles every day after 42 weeks, what I wasn’t told is that the statistics for a low-risk pregnancy to end in still birth was 1 in 1000 at 41 weeks and 2 in 1000 at 43 weeks. Of course, it depends how you view risk and whether you see it in relative or absolute terms…something to think about.
  • Hypnobirthing provides you with the tools to feel empowered and supported when faced with tough decisions.
  • Hiring a birth doula can also be a valuable support system to you as their role is to advocate for you and your wishes.

By Ellie Dearden, Hypnobirthing Instructor with Born to Birth Company

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