I don't understand why women have inductions when everything is perfectly fine?

(80 Posts)
TheBreastmilksOnMe Sat 07-Dec-13 20:58:35

I'm trying to understand why women have their labours induced, usually at term + 10, when there is no medical reason and mother and baby are doing fine?

Having done lots if reading up about it, the benefits and risks of induction versus leaving nature take it's course it seems to me more risky to induce then to leave things be.

Term is considered 37-42 weeks so why do medics need to interfere before then? It realky gets me annoyed tbh and it seems a lot of women feel they don't have the choice to sit and wait. No one stays pregnant forever. I personally would prefer a c-sect to induction if there was a medical reason for it. Forcing the body into labour using artificial chemicals sounds so wrong and painful to me.

I'm not judging women's personal choices rather I'm questioning the nhs protocols and the way women are often made to believe that there is something wrong with their bodies if they don't go into labour by term+ 10 and are made to feel fearful that something bad work happen to their babies if they go 'overdue'.

janey1234 Sat 07-Dec-13 21:33:40

People are induced because the risk of stillbirth increases as you go increasingly overdue. This risk varies according to many factors, including maternal age, but it is a risk nevertheless.

Agree completely that no one should be forced or pressured into induction, but to go on hoping for a natural birth without at least being aware of the risks would be naive.

LynetteScavo Sat 07-Dec-13 21:40:50

I certainly wouldn't prefere a c-section over induction!

My induced labour was "fast and furious" (my previous labour had been slow and furious hmm). It was all over pretty quickly. Labour tends to be painful. I had pethedine to help with the pain, and was born with a very alert baby. (He spent all morning looking around taking in the world!)

I had been hoping for a home-birth, so being induced wasn't a decition I made lightly or without being informed.

RandomMess Sat 07-Dec-13 21:40:51

Because if I was past 42 weeks I couldn't have a home birth anyway, and I personally decided that I didn't want to have to live with the guilt if I waited until I went into labour naturally and ended up having a stillbirth. I left it until 42+3 with my 2nd and didn't go into labour naturally! Please remember that maternal death rates and stillbirth rates HAVE dropped since medical intervention increased.

lilyaldrin Sat 07-Dec-13 21:44:22

I think often hospitals choose +10 or +12 as their policy as it gives them some wriggle room for delays, not having beds, not wanting to induce over weekends, inductions taking several days etc. More about the hospital's organisational needs than actual medical needs.

TheBreastmilksOnMe Sat 07-Dec-13 21:45:23

But Janey the WHO state term is 37-42 weeks so you are not overdue until beyond 42 weeks and even then the risk of stillbirth is relatively small, about 4-7 deaths per 1000 deliveries. By comparison the risk of stillbirth in pregnancies 37-42 weeks is 2-3 deaths per 1000. So they talk about risks being doubled but the numbers are still small beyond 42 weeks.

lilyaldrin Sat 07-Dec-13 21:45:25

Also probably easier/cheaper to induce everyone on a set date that offer more tailored care dependant on individual situations, with daily monitoring.

Um, where I live they won't induce before 42 weeks. I was at 13 days over but only because there were no slots on day 14,15,16 or 17.

I had a very positive induction experience, in at 8am and home by 8pm that evening with baby.

And preferring major abdominal surgery seems a bit extreme, a Caesarian is a big big risk, not to mention all the restrictions afterwards. I was back doing school run less than 24 hours after DD2 was born, wouldn't have been possible with section.

Inductions are risky. But so is waiting, there isn't really a right choice that fits all.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Sat 07-Dec-13 21:46:02

First 2 times, because I had had enough. I just needed to get them out!
This time I would do it because we have had a still birth in the family. It was utterly heartbreaking and I would rather be induced than run that risk in any way. sad

MmeLindor Sat 07-Dec-13 21:46:13

I was 42 weeks when I was induced. The fluid was green, and she was a bit ill from having swallowed if during the birth.

I didn't go into labour naturally with DS, despite waters having broken.

If I hadn't been induced with them, I don't know if they would have survived. Particularly DD.

Induction doesn't always go to plan, and isn't always strictly necessary, but the alternative is much higher mortality rates. I know what I prefer.

janey1234 Sat 07-Dec-13 21:49:22

Ok breast milk, you're right of course, the risks are still thankfully low.

Personally I wouldn't be happy with that as a justification if I was one of the additional four per thousand women to lose their baby at term though. It would hardly be comforting if you'd lost your child to know that you were still in the minority confused

marthabear Sat 07-Dec-13 22:04:39

There are no guarantees or entirely risk ( horrible term) free choices when it comes to childbirth. There are risks involved in the process of induction that need weighing up when making a decision. http://midwifethinking.com/2010/09/16/induction-of-labour-balancing-risks/

LynetteScavo Sat 07-Dec-13 22:08:26

It may only be a few babies per 1000, whose lives are being saved, but I wouldn't want to be one of those few in 1000 mothers who would otherwise have lost thier baby.

BunnyMama Sat 07-Dec-13 22:13:38

Doesn't the placenta start to gradually deteriorate after 40 weeks?

christinarossetti Sat 07-Dec-13 22:14:20

Of course there are risks involved in any medical procedure, but the risks of a stillbirth as a result of going overdue outweigh possible risks involved in induction. 4 in 1000 babies dying post-term is 'something bad happening to your baby'.

I had 3 inductions (one as a result of a pre-term still birth). The induction for my dead daughter was the only one I used pain relief during. The others it was just a couple of tablets and a healthy baby a few hours later.

In what ways is it riskier to induce, OP?

whereisthewitch Sat 07-Dec-13 22:14:50

OP have you had an induction experience? I'd much prefer it to major abdominal surgery and weeks of pain afterwards. My induction was very positive, lasted 12 hours in total and I was out of hospital the following day.

To me even a small elevated risk of stillbirth makes it a no brainer. Yes I'd say it's probably more painful than 'normal' childbirth and that's why I took the pain relief.

christinarossetti Sat 07-Dec-13 22:16:41

Yes, the placenta gradually deteriorates in later pregnancy.

Of course, some women's placenta's will be healthy beyond 42 weeks - the only problem is that it's not possible to tell which women will be fine beyond 42 weeks.

RandomMess Sat 07-Dec-13 22:19:21

Yep the risks of stillbirth are thankfully small but having seen 3 couples go through that personally I didn't want to live with my decision meaning I ended up as one of them.

My priority was a healthy, living child over a "perfect" birth because by #4 I realised that there is no such thing!

scoobydooagain Sat 07-Dec-13 22:20:19

C-section over induction, really? I got induced at 40 +13, baby born about 2 hours later, no cuts/stitches, walking the dog while pushing the pram the next day - probably could have done it that day! Reason why I went for it - I was fed up being pregnant.

ThedementedPenguin Sat 07-Dec-13 22:21:20

Haven't read all replies. I was induced at 40+11. Personally for me I was done with pregnancy and just wanted it over with.

I was uncomfortable and becoming more unhappy as everyday passed with no signs.

I really think its up to the individual to decide. If I wasn't so lonely during the day and unhappy I may have waited longer however, I was just desperate for baby to be born.

RandomMess Sat 07-Dec-13 22:21:27

Also although scans are accurate there is also a room of error in how far along you really are anyway.

The risk of stillbirth and neonatal deat is far far far higher than cot death! From memory 17 times more likely (I once worked it out).

Plus they can scan you every day and in the 23 hours between scans your baby can die, it can be that quick.

ilovesmurfs Sat 07-Dec-13 22:22:10

midwifethinking.com/2010/09/16/induction-of-labour-balancing-risks/

I think hospitals are appalling crap at informing omen of the risks of induction tbh.

There are risks to both, I was induced all five times, I waited to almost three weeks late for ds3, not sure hwo long I would have to wait before I wemt into labout naturally!

There is a ten month mama group on fb, lot sof women who went to 43-44wks! And had natural labour, healthy baby.

Sadly there are no risk free choices in preg/birth and a lot more research needs to be down on the causes of stillbirth. Some studies have shown an extra scan in the final trimester can help spot problems amd reduce stillbierth rates but its all about funding for the research needed.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 07-Dec-13 22:24:40

Most hospitals now induce at term +12. This is because induction can easily take a couple of days. It can take a cople of days just to get a woman to a point where her waters can be broken or where she's starts contracting. So by the time she's in labour or baby is born she probably is 42 weeks if not a bit over.

RandomMess Sat 07-Dec-13 22:24:49

I've had 4 inductions btw, 2 were long haul events, 2 much quicker no further intervention needed, no forceps, no stitches including my 10lb 6oz one grin

I remembering getting home after dc1 and bounding up the stairs... don't think I could have done that after a c-section. With the last 2 I had a 6 hour discharge absolutely not a big deal at all.

theyoniwayisnorthwards Sat 07-Dec-13 22:25:48

Still birth at 40 weeks happened to a friend and after that I just wouldn't risk it . I also had GD during first pregnancy and was dramatically, unsustainable huge with extra amniotic fluid and bigger every day.

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