Labor Flow: Avoiding Induction
Our bodies are highly intelligent! They are not machines that always work in the same order, no matter the input. Our bodies know and adjust based on the information coming to them from within and without. Because of this innate intuition, your body knows when to begin labor, and your body ebbs and flows throughout labor.
We still do not know what actually makes labor begin! We know that when babies head puts pressure on your cervix it triggers your brain to release oxytocin and oxytocin is what contracts your uterus and ultimately pushes the baby out. However, we do not know what actually triggers that process to begin. Are there things that we are missing by not letting this process start naturally?
It has always fascinated me to see how different mothers have different labor patterns. Even with different babies, it can be so different. Our bodies understand if the baby needs rest from contractions or if you need rest from labor. So your body will slow labor to allow for you or your baby to rest or recover. One of the times that this is most observed is when a mother is pushing her baby out. I have seen contractions space to almost 10min apart at times to allow for recovery. These are the kinds of things that science has not allowed for in its standardized way of viewing the human body.
When you are induced Pitocin (the synthetic form of oxytocin) is used. This medication is used with a pump and given to you in increasing doses until your body starts to feel the effects of the medication. Once it does, you start to contract but there is no ebbing or flowing of labor with this medication. It forces your body to contract at regular intervals (aiming for 2-3min apart) for your entire labor. We know that natural labor does not look like this. With Pitocin, there is a risk of hemorrhage because of the increased contractility of the uterus that does not allow for rest periods as in natural labor.
These are only a few of the known negative effects of indications. I believe that we still do not know all the things that we may be interfering with by not allowing labor to begin and progress naturally.
Here are some of the resources that you learn with us as your Doulas:
None Medical Reasons for Induction
Big Baby: Did you know that a big baby is defined by the ACOG (Amerian College of Gynecology and Obstetrics) as being over 11 lbs? They recommend that a woman is not induced for a big baby unless the baby is projected to be that size because there is a 22%variable when it comes to measuring the size of the baby by ultrasound later in pregnancy. It only gets more incarnate the farther along you are. If your provider is wanting to induce for a big baby, what are they projecting the baby to be? From my experience, babies are often smaller than they are projected to be!
Here is more info from Evidence Based Birth: Induction for Big Baby
Advanced Maternal Age: Risks in pregnancy slightly increase as you get older. However, there is a difference between healthy and unhealthy mothers when it comes to those risks. I would caution here that providers can steer you in the direction (or decision) that they would like for you to go by using the word "Risk." Make sure you are looking at the "Relative Risk" (what docs often say) and the Absolute Risk." Knowing both of these numbers may change your mind! Here is a good explanation of the two: On Risk
Post Dates: Evidence Based Birth has another great article on Inducing for Due Date. It's important to know about your menstrual cycle and how that affects your due date! We can help you with this if you are concerned that your due date may be off.
We also have a Video resource on Inductions. We teach you how to talk to your provider about inductions and tools you can use to avoid them! Click the button below to talk to us!