Once I hit 38 weeks everyone I met asked “When are they inducing you?” I tell them that I’m not due for another two weeks (or less now!) and then each person has said “They are going to let you go past your date?”. I bite my tongue, roll my eyes, and say that the baby is ready when he is ready. Even though I wish he was ready sooner sometimes!
These questions upset me so much and I can’t really put my finger on it. First of all, there is no almighty ‘THEY’ that determines when, where, and why my baby is ready to be born. There is no telling with cervical dilation, how you feel, or any other real indicator of when the baby is ready. The baby and my body know best, above anyone or any test! My midwife has been so incredibly supportive through my impatience and prodromal labor. Each morning my husband asks if today is the day before he leaves for work and I’m now telling him that unless he sees the baby actually coming out of my body, then I have no idea!
I have no medical issues, I’m clearly healthy, the baby is clearly healthy, why in the world would I induce my baby? Most people know that the baby does their greatest amount of growing in the last weeks, especially the brain!
“They are going to let you go past your due date??” Again with the ‘they’! Next with the ‘let me’. I have complete control over my body and my birth and no one will ‘let me’ or ‘not let me’ do anything I am not comfortable with. A million thank you’s again to my midwife, who at each visit has talked to me about my concerns, fears, needs, and wants during the pregnancy and labor. I have told her what I don’t want or am afraid of during this birth and she has taken the time to walk me through her procedures and assure me that this is my birth and my body and barring any serious medical issues that may need monitoring we can do what is best for me and my baby! What a great experience and comfort it is to have a birth team that is supportive of my needs, my body, and my baby and is not regulated by their own plans, calendars, and insurance requirements.
Lastly with the due date. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology state that a woman is not ‘post-due’ until she is 42 weeks. This is because there is no guarantee that the estimated due date was correct considering all women ovulate at a different time in their cycle and cycles vary. So asking about induction at 38 weeks is technically still a month early!
What about the risks of induction when not medically necessary? “First time mothers have twice the likelihood of cesarean section when induced…mom’s with subsequent births have 5 times the chances of a cesarean when induced…induction causes hyperstimulation of the uterus leading to fetal distress…induced labors are more painful….” And plenty more. Read more, get the resources and references, and learn about each induction method here. dangers of induction
Yes, pregnancy is uncomfortable. With my daughter’s pregnancy it was very very easy. I could never understand why a woman would go for an early induction or risk trying even natural induction methods like acupuncture, etc BEFORE 40 weeks. This pregnancy has been pretty difficult. I was ready to have this baby at 34 weeks after he dropped at 32 weeks! This little one is soo far into my ribs that each practice contraction forces my ribs apart and is painful…. I’ve tried acupressure, some herbs, and tons of walking to entice him to learn he has much more room in the outside world. But it isn’t fair to the baby to stop his growth before he even gets a chance, it really is selfish. All I’m saying here is that I feel your pain (literally) and we need to hang in there!
Moral of this story: barring any serious medical issues that warrant the appropriate use of induction, it is best to leave your baby to grow and be as strong as possible when he or she is born. No one can tell you your exact due date except your body and baby! Induction should be carefully considered and researched before allowing ‘THEM’ to manipulate your body and your baby.