With Christmas fast approaching the word around social media pregnancy groups is that their Obstetrician has booked them in to be induced at 38 weeks before Christmas to avoid the rush and lack of staff or because their Obstetrician is going on holidays.
Christmas and holidays are not medical reasons for induction of labour but this is continuing to be a major issue.
Nearly 50% of women in Australia are induced and we have become a society that has forgotten that birth is a normal, physiological event that starts when baby is ready – not when your care providers tell you to be ready.
Unfortunately medical intervention is interfering with that normal, physiological process through the use of synthetic hormones that start labour, and this then inhibits the woman’s own release of hormones, which can lead to further interventions and even caesarean. Anything that is interfering with the natural process is an intervention – including natural methods of induction.
Research is now showing that mothers who have a spontaneous vaginal birth will have babies who have fewer short-and long-term health problems such as diabetes, asthma and obesity.
When your baby is ready to breathe on their own outside of the womb, their lungs secrete hormones to the placenta and that triggers the response of labour hormones in the body to start the labour process.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) state that a normal range of pregnancy is any time between 37 and 42 weeks. Some women will need to gestate longer and some shorter – there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to labour and birth.
Inductions were first introduced to start labour when a woman became high risk or had a medical condition and it was necessary to get their baby out sooner. However, now we see this huge increase in medical interventions and inductions that are more for convenience rather than health issues particularly around the Christmas and holiday periods. Inductions can be life-saving to mother and baby, but they should not be used as an excuse to get baby out before they are ready in low risk pregnancies.
Women and their partners need to go back to basics and be educated on what is happening in their body and why, why the mothers’ hormones are so important for not only birth but for the recovery and postpartum period, and how those hormones are of benefit to mother and baby during labour and birth. By attending independent childbirth classes like my Hypnobirthing Australia classes we cover this and so much more.
Induction is not without risk and again couples need to be informed of all the risks not just the so-called benefits, so they can make an informed choice about what feels right for them. Can your care provider give you a guarantee that being induced will not cause more harm to mother and baby? If induction was so safe, why do care providers insist on constant foetal monitoring when a woman is induced? The reason is because an intruder (synthetic oxytocin) has been introduced into the body, which also crosses the placenta to your baby, and that intruder may have an effect on both mother and baby.
Also your baby’s brain and lungs are still growing in those last weeks of pregnancy, and what if your “due date” is wrong and you are forcing your baby out too early? This makes it even more important to wait and allow your baby to be the healthiest they can be in their own time.
The key is to be patient.
The last weeks of pregnancy can be challenging, uncomfortable and stressful for any expectant mother. You have been waiting around for that baby to get into position and for those contractions to start. You have spent a long time growing this baby, and a bit more time is going to give your baby the best chance of a healthy birth.
The way a woman feels about her birth will have a huge impact on her postpartum health.
In those last weeks of pregnancy, release all stress and tension, let go of all fears and doubts. Have fun with your friends, with your family, do all the things you love and really look forward to the start of labour. Do all the things you need to do to help relax your mind, your body and your emotions because that is the key. Feel the bliss of a massage, have a bath or a swim, or even a float in one of those float tanks – because those tanks are just divine. Watch a funny movie to laugh and release endorphins – your feel good, pain relieving hormones. You need to focus on your mind, your body and your emotions – all in balance, interconnected with one another to create that beautiful synergy that baby will respond well to.
So before you evict your baby before they are ready, do your research about all the risks and benefits to you and your baby from induction.
My name is Vicki Hobbs and I am a Childbirth Educator (Back to Basics Birthing), Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner, Certified VBAC Educator, Remedial Massage Therapist specialising in Pregnancy & Postpartum Massage, Birth & Postpartum Doula, Certified Placenta Encapsulator, Hypnotherapist, Aromatherapist, Reiki Practitioner and Life Coach. I am a serial workshopper and learner, so that I keep up to date with new research and information so that I can provide you with up to date resources. My focus has always been on the mind, the body and the emotions and how they all need to be in balance for harmony. You can subscribe to my newsletter by adding your details in the box on the right-hand side and when you do I will send you a free relaxation meditation to help you feel calm and relaxed. I am based in the northern suburbs of Perth and can be contacted by email at [email protected] or phone (08) 9303 9111 or click here to go back to my Blog Page for more great articles and information.