By Shayla Brown
It is important to understand that making healthy choices for labor is just as important as making healthy choices for pregnancy. Deciding to induce labor is a choice. Whether it is a healthy choice depends on a few factors. In particular, if you don’t want to induce your labor, you definitely want to read this post.
IN THIS ARTICLE
- What Is Labor Induction?
- What Is The Labor Process?
- How Can I Avoid Induction?
- What Is The Truth?
- What Is Good, Acceptable, And Perfect?
What is Labor Induction?
Labor induction is the use of medications or other methods to bring on (induce) labor. In 2012, around 23% of labors were induced. This is problematic because induction can increase chances of experiencing:
- fetal heart-rate changes
- umbilical cord problems
- infections in mother and baby
- uterine rupture
- cesarean section
- fetal injury and death
Though ACOG links the above risks to induction, a new study by the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that maybe induction leads to fewer C-Sections (the findings of the study are extremely vague and don’t address any other risks associated with inductions).
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:2
This World has decided induction is the favored method of labor, and This World has written articles and reports declaring that belief. By inducing 23% of laboring women, This World is taking action; following through; and living out what it has decided and declared it believes. If you live in this world, it is very possible, probable, and understandable, if you, too believe that labor induction is the favorable method of labor. However, I challenge you to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Below you will learn about the Bishop Score, a testing tool designed to help you and medical providers discern the healthiest choices for labor. The information is written in 1st person (“I”,”me”, and “my”) just as affirmations are written for the purpose of renewing your mind and transforming your idea of healthy choices for labor.
The Labor Process
A couple of things happen during the process of labor:
- My brain releases Oxytocin.
- My uterus contracts.
- My cervix changes.
- My water breaks.
- My baby moves down lower, rotates, and molds to fit into my pelvis.
- My baby travels through my vagina and is born.
- My baby’s placenta is born.
The First Stage of Labor
For the most part, this post, focuses on what happens to my cervix in the 1st stage of labor. In the 1st stage of labor, my cervix undergoes the following changes:
- My cervix becomes softer (or ripens).
- My cervix moves from facing my back (posterior) to facing my front (anterior).
- My cervix gets thinner and shorter (effaces/effacement).
- My cervix opens (dilates).
During this stage, my baby will also drop lower into my pelvis. How high or low my baby is in my pelvis is referred to as my baby’s station.
How can I avoid an induction?
Assuming I am perfectly healthy and my doctor can give me no medical reason to induce my labor, I should ask “What is my Bishop Score?” Doctor’s use the Bishop Score Calculator to determine the likely success of an induction. A score of less than 5 is unfavorable for an induction, and a score of 8 or above is favorable for a vaginal birth.
It is very important to discuss my Bishop Score with my doctor when the topic of induction arises. Many women who have unplanned C-Sections are induced. Beyond unplanned C-Sections, inductions are ironically more lengthy processes and often result in difficult and traumatic birthing experiences.
What Is The Truth?
The truth is, try as we may, there is no way to actually induce labor. If my body has not released enough Oxytocin, I will not go into labor and my experience will more than likely end in an unplanned C-Section. If I am lucky, I will be simply sent home.
What medical professionals call induction actually relies heavily on how far my body is already into labor. So, in actuality, all induction is labor augmentation or the progression of a labor already underway. If I am far along enough in labor to score higher on the Bishop Score Calculator (8 or above) then my “induction” may be successful. However, if I am not yet in labor (closed cervix, etc.) it is more likely that my “induction” will be unsuccessful, result in an unplanned and unwanted C-Section.
What is good and acceptable and perfect?
Assuming there is no medical reason for my induction, waiting to let labor begin on it’s own provides the following benefits:
- Possible shorter labor
- Less complications
- Increased chance of Vaginal labor
- Decreased chance of hemorrhaging
- Smoother labor
- Safer for baby and me
- Baby completes development
A provider with my best interest in mind will push for a Vaginal delivery unless there is clear medical necessity for an induction.
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