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Stories of Birth, Pregnancy, and Newborns

Birth ButterflyLabor Induction Rant

By Laurel Avery

The following is my rant on the prevalence of inductions. It's probably not for the faint of heart and will likely offend some (or many) people. Nevertheless, my maternal hormones have been making me less tolerant these days, lol.

I swear, if I read one more post from some woman who is convinced it is a good idea to be induced just because the doctor says it's necessary for no other reason than she's reached the magical "40 weeks" (or even less), my head is going to explode.

I want to stress that I do understand that it is sometimes necessary to induce labor for the sake of the health of the mother and/or baby. The most important thing is for this to be the outcome, whether it happens naturally, or by induction or c-section.

That said, if the child is not ready to be born it is unlikely that an induction will have much effect, apart from starting a cascade of interventions where they administer pitocin to stimulate labor, leading to hard, intense contractions which can cause the baby's heart rate to decelerate, leading to the all too familiar emergency c-section (Caesarean section).

Any normal, healthy woman who has carried a child successfully to 40 weeks will go into labor on her own, eventually. Nobody has ever been pregnant forever (even if it seems like it). Tests can be done regularly after 42 weeks to assess if the baby's or mama's health is compromised, at which point steps can be taken to get labor going artificially.

What bothers me most I suppose is that so many women just go along with the advice of their doctor without doing any research themselves on the risks involved and alternative options available. I know it's hard to confront someone who supposedly has our best interests in mind, but that's unfortunately not always the case.

While there are good doctors out there who are happy to explain all the options available, it seems to me they are few and far between. We are often expected to go along with what they say, no questions asked. The bottom line is that hospitals make a lot more money from c-sections (which are often the result of failed inductions) than they do from a normal vaginal birth. We women need to remember that this is our baby and our body and we need to take responsibility for our birth choices and not leave it up to someone who says they "know best".

The worst is when women want to be induced, so that either a family member can be there, they need the tax break before the end of the year, or most especially, they are just tired of being pregnant.

Hey, sometimes they are going to be tired of their child's behavior too. What are they going to do then, throw the kid out in the street? What kind of selfish parent will they be if they can't put up with the miseries of late pregnancy for a couple more weeks? Hey, I'm sick of the intense pelvic pain, frequent contractions, having to pee every 5 minutes, etc. too, but barring true medical necessity, you can be damn sure I'll wait for my baby to arrive when she's good and ready.

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