As a birth junkie I hear a lot about induction of labour. Reasons to have one, reasons not to and ways to avoid them. What I really hear though, through all of that, is a LOT of women tiring themselves out in their effort to avoid an induction of labour. They spend hours per day (not to mention the money involved!) bouncing, rocking, doing spinning babies techniques, gutter walking, getting acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, having sex, nipple stimulation and eating pineapple and curry (in between cups of raspberry leaf tea) until their tastebuds are well and truly dead. Some women start as early as 36 weeks.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Imagine that you’ve been doing all this, combined with the constant adrenalin surge of: Was that it? Is labour starting? Did that work? Why isn’t it working? And the constant disappointment of: OMG I can’t believe I’m STILL pregnant! Maybe there’s something wrong with my body? Maybe I’m one of those women that just can’t?
Imagine that all this has been going on for 4 weeks in a constant feedback loop: try an induction technique, nothing happens, try another, nothing happens. Try another. Oh…contractions! This must be it – I’ll go to bed and rest because I’ll be off to the hospital soon. Wake up in the morning to nothing. Try more techniques. Throw in a VE in the middle that confirms that nothing is happening.
So at your 40 week appointment, after 4 weeks of all this, you break down to your care provider about how tiring the final weeks of pregnancy are and how exhausted you are and how you’ve tried everything to make your body go into labour spontaneously (anyone notice the oxymoron there?!) and they offer you a way out. How about we just induce? You’re 40 weeks so obviously baby is ready. We can admit you now and you’ll have your baby by tomorrow.
So there you are: exhausted, disheartened, convinced that your body doesn’t work and there’s something wrong with your baby who just won’t come.
Sound like a set up for an awesome, positive and empowering birth?
Now imagine that you are spending the final weeks of your pregnancy doing whatever the darn hell you feel like. Eating ice-cream with your other kids, going for coffee with your girlfriends, watching your all time favourite movies while getting a foot massage from your partner.
Imagine that, instead of offering a VE, your care provider offers you reassurance that you and your baby are doing awesome. That your body is perfect and doing just what it should. They ask about your latest bushwalking adventure or your pre-birth getaway that you’ve just come back from. When you tell them how very keen you are to meet your baby they tell you that they are really excited as well. That they can’t wait for the call that you are in labour. They can’t wait to get up at 3am and come with you on your birth journey. At the finish they tell you that they’ll see you next week but that you can call them if you need them before.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Then imagine that you go home and eat more ice-cream, watch more movies, have a bath, have a nap and generally do whatever you feel like.
Yes yes yes, I know that there are some very good reasons for doing all this work to "avoid induction" and in my next article (sorry - I've already reached my word limit for this one!) I am going to further explore the idea of using home induction to “avoid induction”. I’ll share some of the more common scenarios around why women are working so damn hard avoiding induction and my top tips on how to do just that - avoid an induction of labour.
But for now I’d like everyone to imagine themselves in the above scenarios and tell me…How do you want to spend the final weeks of your pregnancy?
I went to almost 43 weeks with my second bub – I know which parts of those last 6 weeks were the best!
The eating ice-cream with your other kids and watching movies with a foot massage are perfect but coffee, no way. Any drink with caffine causes the body to release adrenalin which is an emergency flight or fight hormone. If the body feels that it is in danger then there is no way it will go into labour. This is a throw back to cave lady days when adrenalin release meant there was a saber toothed tiger at the cave door! Be more relaxed by using a relaxation technique for 10 min each day from 36/40. It worked for my second and the labour was lovely as I used it throughout. Bliss. www.painfreelabour.blogspot.co.uk