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My Problems With Induction…

29 Aug

We’re now having weekly midwife checks as they’re worried about my blood pressure (which has gone up a tiny bit) and want to keep an eye on my ankles. At one of my latest appointments Carol (my regular MW) ran through the signs of labour with me, and then told me when they’d be offering sweeps and induction.

I really don’t want to be induced so I asked her if it’d be possible to go into the hospital for daily monitoring once I go past 42 weeks instead. She made sure I realised that my placenta could degrade after that point (which I knew already) but seemed pretty positive about it. I’m very lucky to have a midwife who listens and doesn’t try to bully…but she did have a laugh and warned me that I might be begging her for one by that point. Who knows, maybe I will?…I’d like to think that I’ll give nature a chance.

The trouble with being induced is that it can bring on labour quickly and intensely and although you have all the right hormones to get baby moving, they don’t cross over the blood brain barrier. In other words, your uterus is doing what it needs to, but your brain hasn’t got the memo and so doesn’t produce the right hormones to help you deal with it. It also doesn’t allow you to produce the oxytocin to deliver the placenta naturally so yet more medication is needed for the third stage. Induced labour can take longer and lead to even more intervention in the form of things like forceps, ventouse or c-section.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about induction (especially after my pre-eclampsia scare this week) and found a lot about the technicalities and drawbacks of induction, as well as all the reasons why you might need or be offered induction. Then I looked at the forums and found lots of women saying things like…

“I was induced so I HAD to keep still, be constantly monitored and give birth lying down on a bed…”

…which had me worrying.

If I have to be induced for the sake of the baby’s or my health then I will be induced…but I am very keen to stay mobile and give birth in an upright position. I was pretty sure that I have a choice over how I labour and birth, but that didn’t gel with what these ladies were saying.

It turns out that I was right.

I asked on a Hypnobirthing group on Facebook and my friend Lucy (and then several other ladies) confirmed that I don’t have to do anything, that I can request intermittent monitoring, mobile monitoring and upright birthing positions. They also said that a lot of women trust what the midwives and doctors say, despite wanting something different.

At the end of the day, we can ask for alternatives to any proceedure and we have the right to refuse any and all medical interventions that are offered to us. One of the key things that Luke learnt as “gatekeeper” is to ask why things need to be done, if there is an alternative to it, and if my or the baby’s health is at risk. Sometimes the methods offered (for example, lying on a bed) aren’t for the benefit of the mother and baby, but for the benefit of the medical professionals.

I am very lucky that I’ve got such knowledgeable friends and that I’ve had the benefit of doing so much reading. I can’t imagine how it must be for the women who go into labour not knowing their rights and who end up having a traumatic birth. Every woman should know about this!

 
7 Comments

Posted by on August 29, 2015 in Baby, Life, Pregnancy

 

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7 responses to “My Problems With Induction…

  1. midwifeandlife

    August 30, 2015 at 2:59 am

    It’s true it becomes a balancing act, weighing up the benefits verses the risks. Every woman has a choice and as long as you weigh up all the factors waiting is often better. Good luck!

     
    • onegirlandacampervan

      August 30, 2015 at 10:22 am

      Thank you! I’m hoping he comes on his own in a timely fashion so I don’t have to make any hard decisions…but if he’s anything like me or his father then I’m probably thinking a bit too wishfully šŸ˜‰ xxx

       
  2. Georgina

    August 30, 2015 at 8:17 am

    This was me last time, I was induced as spontaneous labour didn’t start within 36 hours if waters breaking. I was hooked up to a drip for antibiotics as my waters had been broken for too long, the continuous monitor and an epidural as I was afraid of chemically induced labour, particularly as being active was difficult with all those wires plus I was exhausted after getting hyperstimulated uterus from the first stage of induction, the gel. Even if you are informed when things aren’t presented as a choice but as just how it is done, and when they imply your baby is at risk, it is very difficult to know what to do, bearing in mind you may not have a chance to Google! Now I am aware that some of this was hospital policy but the research is still unclear. I would probably make the same decision again though but possibly request to have expectant management for 48 hours before being induced, and refuse to push in the lithotomy position, using the phrase I do not consent. Hoping for a much more natural birth this time without the worry of potential risks…

     
    • onegirlandacampervan

      August 30, 2015 at 10:28 am

      I’m just glad I thought of these things beforehand otherwise I’d be going in without a clue. I’m sure there’s things I haven’t researched that could happen so we’ll just have to see. I think you made the right decision, even if it didn’t seem to go too smoothly. Good luck for a calm and relaxed birth šŸ˜€ xxx

       
      • Georgina

        August 30, 2015 at 3:34 pm

        Regarding induction I guess the lessons I learnt were – be prepared for decisions not to be presented as decisions for you to make, but just as the inevitable process, -don’t depend on a midwife knowing what the risks are at the level of statistical probability, only at the level of hospital policy, its often a very very marginal call but may not be presented to you as such, – if you do not consent be very explicit about it.

         
      • onegirlandacampervan

        August 30, 2015 at 3:52 pm

        Thank you, that’s really useful advice. I think we’re so used to following the advice of medical professionals that sometimes it can feel intimidating to ask why and what else is available. Luckily Luke is very forthright and isn’t as easily placated as me so I’m hoping he’ll be strong when I’m not able to xxx

         
  3. Georgina

    August 30, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Sounds like Luke will be a great birth partner! Feeling like you have given informed consent is so important, even if what actually physically happens is identical, you feel much better about it! Being prepared with knowledge but also staying positive that your body and mammalian brain will get on with it when the time is right is another tricky balancing act, so the gatekeeper is crucial as they can use their rational mind while you go off into your birthing brain zone, as I’m sure you know from the natal hypnotherapy!

     

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