August 27, 2020
Thinking About Scheduling an Induction? Learn as Much as You Can
By: Cara Terreri | 0 Comments
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of scheduled inductions has risen. Unless there is a medical reason for scheduling an induction, in which the benefits outweigh the risks, an induction carries with it additional risks and drawbacks that are not present when you wait to go into labor on your own. Before you schedule an induction for your birth, be sure you know all that you can about the procedure.
No matter the reason for having an induction, it's important that you know the risks and tradeoffs. Knowing what's at stake is the only way you can decide if scheduling an induction for a non-medical reason is worth it. Risks of induction include:
- Additional medical interventions (IV, pain medication, Pitocin, continuous fetal monitoring, restricted movement) - If you're considering induction and you wanted to be active and move around during labor, use little or no pain medication, labor in the water, or have intermittent monitoring, you need to understand that many of those preferences will be difficult or impossible to achieve with the interventions needed. Furthermore, interventions each carry their own risks and drawbacks for labor.
- Stress on baby
- Increase in risk of cesarean
- Increase in risk of premature birth (your due date is an estimate; you could be giving birth too early) - Babies do better when they pick their own birthday! Usually, babies are healthier, have less complications, and are more developmentally ready for life outside the womb when they help initiate labor on their own. All babies develop at different rates and due dates are not accurate.
- Increase in risk of needing NICU stay
About the typical interventions used during an induction:
- Medications used for induction can make contractions stronger, longer, and more frequent than regular contractions, which increases pain and fatigue in labor
- Induced labor with Pitocin causes stronger and longer squeezes during contractions, which can cause distress for baby. This can be seen in worrisome heart rate changes on the fetal monitor, which may lead to cesarean.
- Induced labor almost always requires an intravenous line (IV) and continuous electronic fetal monitoring, which make it harder to move and change positions that increase comfort and help labor progress.
While not considered "risks," induction also means:
- Potentially longer labor, sometimes much longer - An induction uses artificial methods to send your body into labor, and if your body is not ready (and there's no proven way to tell for sure), it may take a longer time to go through the stages of labor. Depending on how favorable your cervix is for labor, an induction can take up to three days in the hospital before baby is born.
- Increased pain from contractions when Pitocin is used
- Higher medical bills
Medical Reasons for Induction
A medical reason for induction means that you have a medical reason that makes it safer for your to have your baby now than waiting to go into labor on your own. Induction is a sound decision for any of the following issues:
- You’re showing few signs of labor by 42 confirmed weeks of pregnancy
- You have a medical disease that isn't responding to treatment and causing unsafe conditions for pregnancy
- You have certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure and too much protein in the urine (a condition known as preeclampsia)
- Your labor isn’t starting on it’s own after your water breaks and you have a Group B Strep positive culture
- You have a uterine infection
- Your baby’s growth has been slow for their age
Getting induced comes with a lot of extras that you don't often need when you let labor begin on its own. Learn the facts and consider about your options before making the decision to induce.
TagsInduction COVID-19 Covid and Birth