Everything You Need to Know About Induction of Labor So You Can Have the Best Experience Possible
Are you planning an induction of labor? Are you faced with making a choice to induce labor? Induction of labor is becoming increasingly common. There are many medical and personal reasons why a family may choose to have an induction.
There are many challenges associated with labor induction. I regularly hear horror stories from families about their induction experience. There are so many, “I wish I knew…” pieces of information that are important in your decision-making process. In this blog article, I give you the run down on what you really need to know for the best experience possible.
What is an induction of labor?
Induction of labor may be recommended for medical or personal reasons. Firstly, an induction usually needs to begin with the cervix being prepared for labor. This typically requires the use of medications to soften, thin, and dilate the cervix. They release prostaglandins to begin the process. Your provider will probably schedule you to come in at night for the cervical preparation process.
Secondly, once the cervix is prepared, your provider may want to add other interventions before starting Pitocin to begin contractions. Sometimes they will break the bag of waters. Also, they may use a foley bulb if the cervix has not reached 4cm.
Next, your provider will administer a synthetic hormone called Pitocin. Pitocin is the synthetic version of oxytocin (your natural labor hormone). It tells the uterus to begin contractions. Pitocin slowly works over time and is generally increased in increments to drive the labor process.
A Great Tool to Support Your Decision Making Process
Check out this blog post to learn more about a tool called the Bishop Score. The Bishop Score examines how prepared your body is to go into labor and how likely it is that your induction of labor will end in a vaginal birth. You can use this tool to help you in your decision-making process. Check out this calculator to get your score!
Tips for a Better Induction of Labor Experience
Prepare for the Long Haul
Inductions can be really long. My clients who have had inductions often say that no one ever told them how long the process really is. Take great care of yourself. Make sure your partner or support person does as well.
Hiring a doula can be incredibly helpful during an induction of labor. It’s a long process that has many complicated decision-making elements and you may find that you need more support through the experience. A doula can help ease your mind throughout the whole process and help you stay calm, comfortable, and confident.
Plan what you might do to spend your time while you’re in the hospital before labor begins. It often feels like there’s a lot of time where nothing is happening in an induction. It’s an intentionally slow process. Your body worked so hard in pregnancy to keep your cervix nice and closed and tight to protect your baby. In an induction of labor, your body is essentially being tricked to do the opposite.
Promote rest, relaxation, nurturing, comfort, and movement during this long haul.
Master the Fear-Tension-Pain Cycle
In an induction, the health care system needs to essentially trick your body into doing something it has not decided to do on its own. Releasing your fears and tension can be incredibly beneficial to help your body work in synergy with the process. Do everything you can to promote relaxation, fear release, and remove tension from your body. This will give your body the best chance to work in synergy with a medical induction.
Ask for More Time
Use time as a tool! One of the most important things to remember is that inductions can be very long experiences. In the absence of medical necessity, you should be able to take all the time you need to make the decisions that are right for you. Even in medical need, the choices are still solely yours to make.
Ask for more time to see how labor progresses before consenting to a cesarean for a failed induction. Use this time to allow your body to slowly open, soften, and release. On the flip side, if it’s not working, you can go home and wait for labor to start on its own.
A phrase you can use is, “Thank you so much for your concern, we’d like to wait an hour to see how things progress before making a decision.” Read this blog article to learn more about how to use time as a tool.
Boost Your Hormones
Do everything you can do boost your own birth hormones. Boost your oxytocin by creating a calm, comforting, dimly lit environment. Create your own birth zone while waiting for labor to begin. Use comforting touch, massage, aromatherapy, music, movement, snuggling with your partner, anything it takes to boost those hormones and vibes of peace, safety, and security.
Do you want to learn more about how to plan your dream birth so you can give birth with peaceful strength and calm confidence – no matter what turn your birth may take?
In this guide to your dream birth, you’ll learn…
- What you really want to feel in birth
- How to get in touch with your intuition and big ideas for birth
- Important questions to ask yourself
- How to move boldly into birth in confidence
- How to turn your dream birth into reality