How to Stop needless Induction of Labor

Posted August 10th, 2010 in birth, Birth Doula, doula, Fresno Birth Doula, Hospitals, labor by admin

Another great article written by:  Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE

While there are still a good number of people who don’t want to believe that labor would be induced for no medical reason, the fact is that it happens, daily. Notice I said no medical reason, this means you might think “tired of being pregnant” is a reason, but when it comes to the safety of your baby, most people aren’t that tired of being pregnant. Recent reports from medical journals have shown that the vast majority of women don’t really truly grasp the concept of full term, particularly as it relates to your baby’s safety. (If you spontaneously go into labor at week 37 or 38 the risks to your baby are incredibly low, but being induced at week 37 or 38 increases the risks of interventions, including NICU stays, breathing problems and even surgical births.) This is where your doctor or midwife comes into play, or your hospital.

A new study had 27 hospitals across 14 states elect to use one of three programs designed to reduce the number of elective inductions in the 37th and 38th week of pregnancy, not medically indicated inductions, just the social or elective inductions. The hospital could choose to:

•Institute and enforce a policy of no elective inductions at week 37 or 38;
•Institute a policy of no elective inductions in week 37 or 38 but allow the practitioners to police      themselves; or
•Institute an education/awareness program around the dangers of elective induction at the 37-38 week mark.

At the seven hospitals who changed to the institute and enforcement of no elective deliveries at week 37 or 38, they saw the biggest drop in elective deliveries in the two year period. The least effective was the education only policy. The good news is that there were dramatic benefits for the babies, with a 16% drop in the number of NICU admissions. If this were to occur at every hospital the savings could be as high as $1 billion as save over half a million days for babies in the NICU.

So what can you do in the mean time? The most important thing is to realize that every week of pregnancy counts. Being born prior to spontaneous labor can carry risks, big and small. Your baby’s brain undergoes a lot of changes in the last weeks of pregnancy, as does the development of lung tissue. You will also find that babies born after spontaneous labor have higher breastfeeding rates. So, if offered an induction, ask why. Use your BRAIN. What are the:

•Intuition (what’s your gut say)
•Not now, or do nothing

If it’s not for a medical complication, or it is something that can be watched more closely, that might be a safer option for you and your baby. Stay in contact with your practitioner, ask questions and don’t be afraid to find out what is being proposed and why.


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