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healthy pregnancy


Decisions (


UNLESS THERE’S A MEDICAL REASON, IT’S BEST TO WAIT FOR LABOR TO START ON ITS OWN


Are you considering induction? Inducing labor is common—but experts agree that unless it’s for a medical reason, induction is risky and best avoided. In recent years there has been a movement


to wait to induce labor without medical reasons until at least the 39th week—which is 1 week before your due date. But most women won’t go into labor on their own until their due date or a week or so after, and there are many advantages for both women and babies of waiting until your body signals everything is ready by naturally starting labor.


INDUCTIONS INCREASE CESAREANS


Induction increases your risk for cesarean, especially if your body isn’t ready to labor (see “Learn the Bishop’s Score”). Your healthcare provider may recommend inducing labor if you or your baby are experiencing medical problems, such


Induction BY CATHERINE RUHL, CNM, MS )


as preeclampsia or poor fetal growth, in which case it’s riskier for pregnancy to continue than for baby to be born early. If your provider is recommending an induction,


ask why. Some reasons, such as the baby is “too big,” may not indicate an urgent need for baby to be born.


Ask your provider: What their advice is based on What alternatives you can consider What the risk is right now for you and your baby if you choose to wait for labor to start on its own


AVOID ELECTIVE INDUCTIONS Deciding to induce labor without a medical reason is an “elective” induction. Reasons for elective inductions include choosing to induce labor for


Look for a midwife or doctor whose practices align with your desires and goals for pregnancy, labor and birth. Use these questions to learn more about a provider’s practices around spontaneous labor and induction:


1


Do you routinely recommend scheduled inductions when all is healthy?


2 3


If so, how close to my due date?


What are the medical reasons you might recommend induction, and why?


4


5 6


What are my alternatives to induction?


What are the risks of inductions?


What are the benefits and risks of waiting for spontaneous labor?


7


How will we resolve conflict if you advise an induction and I want to wait for labor to start on its own?


ISSUE 12 / Fall 2013 Healthy Mom&Baby 37


FIND A HEALTHCARE PROVIDER WHO SUPPORTS YOUR BIRTHING GOALS


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