If having your labor induced is being recommended to you by your care provider, you probably have a lot of questions and feelings surrounding it. Like most things, it’s nothing you’ve ever had to research or know much about until you find out it’s happening to you. It’s not uncommon to be in the final weeks of your pregnancy before finding out an induction is recommended or required, which doesn’t leave you much time to learn how induced labor is different than going into labor on your own.
You may be assuming there’s not much difference between whether or not you get induced, but there you would be wrong. There actually can be a lot of difference between going into labor naturally vs. being induced, so it’s important to understand the process so you can make the best choices for yourself and your baby.
For some, it can feel demoralizing to be informed by your care provider that you are a candidate for induction. You may have been forewarned early on in your pregnancy that the potential for induction existed due to an ongoing medical condition like Preeclampsia or Gestational Diabetes, or maybe you have just recently had a change in medical status that has led to an induction being recommended. Whatever the reason and no matter how long you’ve known about it, finding out you’ll be having an induction is seldom welcome news for expectant parents.
Inductions are often associated with a long and tedious process that can double or triple the amount of time you spend at the hospital. And worse than that, forfeiting the idea of allowing your baby to decide when they’re ready to be born for a mechanical and medicalized process can be really hard coming to terms with.
You might have done all the right things preparing for this birth: taken an out-of-hospital birth education class, hired a doula, signed up for prenatal yoga, and prepared your birth preferences for the hospital. You may have been planning an unmedicated birth, or at least one with as few interventions as possible, but now you find yourself facing the prospect of being hooked up to a Pitocin drip and stuck immobile on a bed for untold hours, right?
Well, not necessarily, and that’s why you need to understand the reason your care provider is recommending induction and what your options are.
The rate of induction of labor in the United States more than doubled from 1990 through 2012, from 9.6% to 23.8%. And from an anecdotal standpoint at least, inductions appear to be happening more than ever since the outbreak of the pandemic; although it’s too soon to have the hard data to back this up as fact, based on observation within our local birthing community, it seems like inductions are occurring more and more.
But not all inductions are necessary, so it’s very important for you to understand where you and your pregnancy fall in the spectrum of when an induction is considered medically necessary and when it is not.
And that’s where education comes in. We realized that with inductions becoming more and more commonplace, we needed to develop a curriculum that takes a deeper dive into everything a birthing person who is facing an imminent induction needs to know to adequately prepare themselves for the process. As with most things, education is power. Education is the path forward to taking control back of this often overwhelming and confusing process. Education puts you in charge of your birth experience, which is where you ALWAYS belong, no matter the circumstances.
The objective of the Birth Education Center’s Course on Induction is to show you how an induction, although being a different kind of birth experience than you imagined, can still be every bit as empowering and beautiful as going into labor on your own.
In the first half of the course we lay out the nuts and bolts of induction, e.g., the implication of due dates, a review of birth anatomy, the various methods of induction and the potential outcomes that may arise when implementing them. The second half of the course explores the action steps you can take to ensure you have the best outcome with your induction, e.g., doula support, understanding timelines and the importance of slowing down the process, how to determine if your body is ready for induction, working with your care provider and ways to create a great experience, no matter the circumstances.
Understanding what the induction process entails and the choices that are still yours to make along the way (up to and including whether or not to agree to it in the first place) is a crucial step in taking control of the process. Instead of being a passive bystander as procedures are done to you, educating yourself about the common methods of induction makes you an active participant in everything that happens.
There are pros and cons to certain procedures and the more you know and understand what they are, the better prepared you’ll feel when faced with these decisions. After all, your baby only gets one birth: it’s up to you to ensure that how and when it happens is on terms you understand and are comfortable with. Our hope is that with this knowledge you will gain the confidence to make informed decisions that benefit both you and your baby.
A typical childbirth course doesn’t usually cover induction and if it does it isn’t in much detail. Even though the Birth Education Center’s Hypnobirthing course covers it, we don’t have time in that course to give it the full attention it deserves, hence our reason for putting together this stand-alone course designed specifically for families who think or know they will be getting an induction. If you fall into this category you need to have all the facts, information, and education on the subject to demystify the process and understand the choices you’re able to make along the way.
No matter what your thoughts are about induction, this course contains pertinent information that is good for anyone to know who will be undergoing an induction. Not everyone has negative connotations about the prospect of being induced. In fact, sometimes it sounds like a wonderful idea when considering another week of walking around with swollen ankles and not being able to find a comfortable sleeping position. So if you’re OK with the idea of induction, don’t worry, you’re not weird!! But there’s still a lot to learn that will help you set realistic expectations of the process and make decisions along the way that will benefit you and your baby.
Although this course contains everything you need to know about induction, it only takes 2-3 hours to complete, so even if your induction is scheduled tomorrow you have time to walk into your induction fortified with this valuable information.
Understanding the induction process will be of tremendous benefit to you and your baby. This small investment of time and money could make a huge difference in your shared birth experience. We have created this course to be accessible online, so no matter where you are in the country or the world you can access this invaluable information at your convenience and your own timeline. We have developed it as a recorded presentation narrated by Care Messer, the founder of the Birth Education Center. In addition to the online course, you will also receive a printable copy for note-taking that can also be printed, or opened on an iPad or tablet that you can edit.
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