Dear Mums-to-be! Pregnancy is one helluva of a ride, so trans-formative that it alters everything around you into something beautiful and sacred and the highlight of your pregnancy is definitely childbirth, a special moment where you bring a new life into this world. But before childbirth comes labor which is associated with a fear of unknown. Labor essentially is a natural process triggered by hormonal changes after nearly 40 weeks of pregnancy, but your gynecologist can decide if you need an induction in specific cases.
Induced labor is done either through strong medications or by physical means (Pitocin , Amniotomy , Forcible Dilation, etc) with the ultimate goal of enabling childbirth. Sometimes it is required even if the mother or baby is not ready due to certain complications.One can also opt for induced labor, but like all other methods, induction has its risks, so it is better to wait for the labor to start naturally than rush.
Yet if you must, make an informed decision. Here are some facts you must know:
Why should I need induced Labor?
An extremely appropriate question that can easily be tied to another one: Am I and my baby healthy? To get the correct answers to this, you need to start by having a chat with your doctor. This is where you can figure out whether the recommendation for induced labor was given to you on genuine medical grounds or was based on some other reasons like (tired of being pregnant, doctor on call, doctor has vacation soon, your family can schedule, etc.). This will then help in opening up the conversation towards other possible alternatives and help you make the right call..
When is my due date?
It is important to know from your healthcare provider the exact stage of your pregnancy and the correct due date. This is critical as the last weeks of your pregnancy are extremely crucial for your baby’s development, especially with regards to critical organs like lungs or liver.
So while you may feel comfortable even going for a preterm delivery through induced labor and relying on neonatal intensive care to handle all the minor and major trifles associated with it, it's simply too big a risk for your baby due to the varied complications that may affect him/her. So it’s always advisable not to rush things, especially if you are not confronted with any serious complications.
Are there any alternatives that I may consider?
Well, the best thing to do is abide by your own body’s schedule and let things happen as it should. Your doctor might also suggest to you certain procedures like a biophysical profile or stress test (NST) and you can use this to plan or postpone your due date.
How will induction alter my birth plans?
There are many methods of induction to choose from. Discuss with your healthcare provider followed by a vaginal exam to find out whether your cervix is ready or not. At this point, you should also give a shout out to your doctor on things like - effects on mobility, regular fetal monitoring , and time limits on your labor.
Armed with this knowledge, you will be able to make a better decision and select what’s best for you and your baby. You may go for an induction, or just wait it out. The key here is to take the right course of action after thorough deliberations with your caregiver, after all you don’t want to take chances with your baby’s life. The best thing , in my honest opinion, is to just let nature take its course.
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