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How to make induction as good as experience as possible?

(24 Posts)
MummyToOneForNow Mon 15-Sep-08 09:49:18

I'll probably be induced next week and am happy with that particularly as I would like an epidural (fairly traumatic and painful time with dd1 and expecting another enormous baby with head circ above the 99th centile again). I'll hopefully have a better chance of an epidural if I am already in hospital as I have a family history of fast labours.

Does anyone know what I can do to make it as good as possible e.g.

-do I have to be continuously monitored? (I know that there are different stages and that I may not need a drip - at what stage do they insist on monitoring)

- do they always break the waters or if you are progessing after the gel/pessary do they just run with it?

-will I have to be on my back? Can monitoring be done on my side or all fours?

-will I have to have a line in my hand or can I refuse that up to the point at which they think I do actually need a drip if it happens?

-do you generally need a catheter if you have an epidural?

- do you have to stay in hospital longer after an induction or if things go smoothly could I be home after a few hours (assuming I feel up to it!)

I know there is a better chance of inductions being successful with second timesrs but want to minimise the risks of intervention by getting into the best position for getting dc2 out and know it will need as much space as possible smile

Sorry for all the questions...

ajm200 Mon 15-Sep-08 10:27:17

Talk to your MW before the induction to see what the local hospital policy is.

- You may be able to negotiate to be monitored for 15 mins of every hour especially if the gel works for you and you don't need the drip.

- You may be able to move around as long as the cables on the machine allow.

- You can refuse to have your waters broken unless they give you a good reason why.

- Some hospitals offer mobile epidurals, I had one but wasn't allowed to get up so it was a waste of time.

Take lots of evening primrose oil between now and then as it can help to ripen the cervix and make it more favourable for the inductions. I wish I'd known last time round as it took 5 days for the gel to work for me.

I would have been allowed home the same day but had an EPI and high BP. If you can manage without the EPI you have a greater chance of going home in hours.

MummyToOneForNow Mon 15-Sep-08 11:18:22

Thanks - will seeing a mw soon for a sweep so will ask for more details on the monitoring and moving around and ask about evening primrose oil.

I'd probably want my waters broken when I am ready to push if they haven't gone on their own as they didn't go spontaneously last time and I think that trying to push a large head for against intact membranes for ages contributed to my eventual ventouse and tearing. Would want to avoid them being broken earlier if I can as I have heard that can speed things up (will probably be fast anyway) and make it more painful so I'll put that in my birth plan (reviewing it in light of the likely induction).

ajm200 Mon 15-Sep-08 11:36:32

Definately avoid getting them broken too early. My induction was due to very ill health and baby and I just weren't ready.
I hope you have an easier birth this time. You can read up on EPO on or I think there's a thread on here about it under pregnancy or childbirth

They broke my waters when all else failed to get labour started and still nothing happened so can't say if labour is worse after they go.

If it helps, I made it all the way to transistion without any pain relief and the contractions weren't too bad, crampy and pressure mainly, not pain. I had the EPI for my SPD which had been aggrevated by 5 days flat on my back in the antenatal ward being monitored while they failed to induce labour. By the time I was in labour, my pelvis was so sore I could bearly stand. Also my BP soared and EPIs can cause it to crash so it was that or a c-section.

Definately get an EPI before transistion if you want one as they had a nightmare trying to insert a needle into my spine while I was shaking like a leaf.

moopymoo Mon 15-Sep-08 11:41:06

just to give different perspective - nothing worked for me except breaking waters - had 2 days of gel etc with no dilation - they managed to break waters eventually (was still the 2cm that i had been about 3 weeks before so was very uncomfortable.) ds2 was born 3 hours later fairly easily. i refused a drip for convenience and kept moving about and ended up having a very 'natural' induction.

oopsacoconut Mon 15-Sep-08 14:44:01


I was induced 2 weeks ago. When I was given the gel - was encouraged to walk around and get things going. Which it did, but things were not progressing so they broke my waters at 4 cm - and everything stopped more or less irregular contactions where they had previously been regular and reasonably strong. They continued to monitor me with the hand held dopler until they were going to start the drip. I had my epi done BEFORE the drip as things progress fast and contractions become hard and fast - no slow build up like natural labour. I didn't fancy a man with a needle near my back when in active labour with painful contractions! My midwife then stayed with me until DD was born 7 hours later. My epi was very light and I could feel the sensation of the contractions and the pressure when i wanted to push, could also change position and move my own legs. I managed to get a little sleep - which was very useful as this all happened between 10pm and 5 am. the only thing wasthey constantly monitor you once on the drip and have an epi - but I wasn't going anywhere so it didn't bother me - they covered the machine with a cloth so I didn't constantly stare at it. I wouldn't change my experiance for the world and never felt 'bad' that i hadn't done it another way. I medically needed to be induced as I had a bleed from a minor placental abruption.

oopsacoconut Mon 15-Sep-08 14:45:17

Forgot to say - no permanent catheter she catherterised my twice during the night to empty my bladder and that was it.

oopsacoconut Mon 15-Sep-08 14:47:34

and again ( Ireally should read messages the whole way through first!) I was allowed home 12 hours post epi but chose to stay 1 night to get feeding established.

No line in until they attached the drip and fluids.

MummyToOneForNow Mon 15-Sep-08 16:10:08

Good news is my cervix is favourable - had a sweep today and she said it was soft and stretchy and could stretch it to 3cm. Having another sweep in a couple of days so may be enough to get there without the induction. Forgot to ask about the hospital policy on monitoring but she did say that I can ask to be on all fours even with an epidural so that I am in a better position for delivering a huge baby...

ajm200 Mon 15-Sep-08 17:04:30

That's great news. I'll keep my fingers crossed that this baby decides to make an appearance on its own.

Hope the sweep doesn't leave you too sore and crampy.

Take care!

frazzledgirl Tue 16-Sep-08 07:05:04

I had an induction with DS (now 13 months) when he was 13 days late.

Was 3cm dilated naturally, so we skipped gel and went straight to waters breaking. This gave me 3 hours of painful cramps but no dilation so on to syntocinon drip.

Midwife suggested I have an epidural sited before beginning the drip and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you do the same! I did have a line, catheter etc, and could not move (or eat/drink in case I needed CS - this was worst bit!) but I couldn't feel them so they didn't bother me at all. Were whipped out before epi wore off anyway.

Drip started at 2pm, by 6pm was fully dilated.

Pushed out DS in 40 minutes with support from the original midwife and my community midwife. Had a 2nd degree tear so small that I didn't need stitches, and although DS needed oxygen when he popped out (cord round his neck) he's perfect.

I had a fabulous, calm, pain-free labour and was up and about as soon as the epi wore off. Went home the next day.

I am one of the only women I know who genuinely enjoyed and was totally happy about her birth and I'd do it all again.

HTH and good luck - keep us posted!

charitas Tue 16-Sep-08 07:32:34

Hi I had a planned induction because of a previous stillbirth and it was very straightforward. I had to be monitored before and after the gel was applied to see if piglet reacted to it, think this would be non negotable. My waters broke spontaneously about four hrs after having the gel and they let me get in the bath after that on the ward.My only complaint would be noone checked on me for an hour and a half whilst in the bath and the midwife was initally dissmissive when I told her I really wanted to push 5hrs later . After eventually agreeing to examine me was rushed to delivery suite at 6cms with piglets head really low down. I was in delivery suite from 7am and gave birth at 11 minutes past eleven with gas and air to aid me. I was continuously monitored in delivery suite and can see were you are coming from as it did feel like the bed was pushing back. However the trade off for us was the reassurance that piglet was alright durring labour and i would have given birth standing on my head to get that!

Clarabumps Tue 16-Sep-08 08:18:01

i was induced last year with ds1 as i was diagnosed with pre eclampsia. I was initially given three doses of the prostaglandine pessary stuff over 36 hours (just while i was in the ward so i ws still able to walk about etc,) this did nothing so i was examined and they broke my waters and started me on a drip to start the contractions. I had a monitor on my stomach and also and also vaginally so i couldnt really walk about that much although i could go to the bathroom and was able to bounce on the birthing ball.
I had gas and air (which was amazing!) for around 9 hours and as i was dilating really slowly, i ended up with an epidural. all in all it was really straight forward.. it was sore...but i dont have anything to compare it to. i laboured for quite a lot of time leaning over the bed and birthing ball. Its a bit of a fiddle due to all the wires but the midwives sort all that and although i had an epidural i still managed to push ds out in around an hour. I'm due again in Feb and would not be bothered if i was induced again. To be honest it was sore, and scary but any labour is really..the good thing is about it was it seemed like i laboured at a good pace, it all seemed to progress quite naturally.
Best of Luck...let us know how you get on..

frazzledbutcalm Tue 16-Sep-08 11:14:00

I was induced with 3 out of 4 pregnancies. Each time was great and easy. I think everyone expects induction labours to be scary, horrific and different to 'normal' labours, but they're not. Hope it all goes well. smile

aiti72 Tue 16-Sep-08 13:42:45

I was induced with DD2, brilliant labour! Had an epidural before the drip was put on, was perfectly mobile, had energy and could fairly easily take the drip being put so high that from 1cm dilated to baby being born took an hour!

stiggywiggywoo Tue 16-Sep-08 14:13:56

I had my first baby 5 weeks ago and was induced by drip as my waters had gone 48 hours beforehand and I had only got to 1 cm. The pain became pretty intense very quickly but then my baby was back to back. You can move around a bit while being traced - on the bed in different positions and on the birthing ball but I found lying on the bed on my side the best position anyway. They will unclip you to let you go to the loo. The annoying thing about the drip was they don't allow you to eat after you're on it but they will let you drink water and when I eventually got an epidural the anaesthetist said isotonic sports drinks were fine as well - which is a good idea to have some in case you're going to end up having a long labour just to keep your strength up. I have to say the epidural was fantastic as I was getting constant pain and no break between contractions.I'm not sure whether the drip caused this even thoug it was on the lowest dose or whether it was because of the baby's position. I ended up fully dilated less than half an hour after the epidural was put in ( as they hadn't checked me before they gave it to me as it was only 3 hours after the drip started).I have to say the midwives were very obsessed with monitoring the trace and kept telling me my contractions were too close together and not long enough to be productive so they were about to send my dh home as they told me it was likely to be 6 hours before I had the baby.
However it was all good as I ended up having a rather urgent forceps delivery as the baby's heartbeat kept dipping as the cord was round his neck twice. So in the end the constant monitoring which I thought was a pain at the time turned out to be a godsend as he was out almost as soon as the problem became apparent.
Good luck and hope all goes well.

becklespeckle Tue 16-Sep-08 14:14:07

-do I have to be continuously monitored? (I know that there are different stages and that I may not need a drip - at what stage do they insist on monitoring)

Hiya! I was induced with DC3 as I was 12 days overdue, I was also aware that she would probably be a large baby (9lbs 15oz in the end)

I did have my waters broken for me but as my waters didn't break with either of my previous (spontaneous) births I knew they would.

I was on my back for the initial monitoring but once my labour was progressing I was on my side for the majority of it. I spent a little time on all fours and it was oh-so-comfy! I only turned to my back as DD was very distressed (due to cord wrapped around her neck) and they needed to get her out quickly!

I didn't have an epidural so can't answer any of those questions but I was out of hospital within 18 hours of the birth, it would have been sooner but as I had a bit of a temperature they made me stay until it had gone.

All in all I found it a really positive experience and felt much more in control than during my previous 2 births - good luck!

p.s. was given first gel at 9.30 am, had reached 3 cm by 5.30. waters broken just after and DD arrived at 9.32 pm so it was also my quickest birth!

ajm200 Tue 16-Sep-08 14:38:57

I think the level of monitoring depends on the hospitals policy and the type of induction that you have. I believe some hospitals are very relaxed about monitoring if you've just had your waters broken or just the gel. Drips and Epidurals normally mean full on monitoring though.

Chat to your MW about what happens at your hospital as they are all different. If I end up in hospital, my friend has offered to deliver my baby for me as she works there so I'm hoping to 'bend' a few rules

skyatnight Wed 17-Sep-08 16:51:30

I was induced approx. 10 days early due to high BP and a urine infection. It took two doses of the pessary to get it going. My cervix was apparently fairly favourable as the pregnancy was quite near term anyway. Waters broke spontaneously around 7am and I went to 5cm dilated within an hour or so and I was moved down to the labour ward. I had been standing up for most of that time and unmonitored as the mws were in a nightshift/dayshift handover meeting.

I don't have anything to compare it with but I felt the contractions were very intense. I then went to fully dilated with G&A, kneeling up against the back of the bed most of the time. Once I was fully dilated, my contractions stopped and I had to have a drip. I was told I had to stay on my back on the bed so they could monitor me. I'm not sure if this is standard or just particular to the hospital I went to or my situation. It was too late for an Epidural apparently, although I had been offered it earlier when I was doing fine with G&A and so refused it.

The contractions with the drip were very painful (just felt like intense pain but no contraction/pushing down/in sensation) and the position on my back was not helpful. Under threat of forceps, I had to concertina myself up (knees by my ears) with the help of two mws and force dd through which caused a second degree tear but better I felt than having to have forceps. She was born around midday so about 6 hours from start to finish.

If I did it again I think I would ask for an epidural due to the pain but then again it might have lead to me needing instrumental intervention. I also regret not being allowed to get up and move around as I feel this might have allowed me to avoid tearing so much. But I think dd was starting to get distressed and so they did need me to cooperate.

Not an expert but I would hope that, if you are induced due to being overdue, your contractions wouldn't stop and you might not need a drip, which I think is the worst part.

Anyway, it wasn't that bad, dd was fine, and, as someone else has said, at least it is quick. Good luck and best wishes.

weeamoomoo Wed 17-Sep-08 21:22:25

i was induced with my middle child and it was by far the best birth out of the 3. i had gel 3 times before contractions started.i had synotocin and they broke my waters. all these procedures were painless.

i also wanted an epidural so once they were satisfied my labour was established i got it. it was fantastic and i highly reccomend it!
my midwives were fantastic and my hubby was really involved (unlike the first time when we ended up in theatre. and let me assure you that if you have been in the second (pushing) stage of labour for over 3 hours as i was you will contort yourself into any position to get that needle into your back...)
i did require about 5 seconds of the ventouse which was no problem, and i also needed an episiotomy which i knew about anyway (due to the scarring caused by the first birth being a high forcep delivery). i was stitched by a lovely female registrar and couldnt even feel them they were so well done! (if you need stitches, research shows that its much better if its a female who does it, and having horrendously tight and sore ones the first time done by a male consultant, i would tend to concur)

so hopefully to reassure you, my induction experience was brilliant. and because i wasnt knackered or sore i felt i could enjoy my baby immediately.

another bonus of being induced was that i didnt have to dump my ds1 on someone in the middle of the night and run! we all went to his aunts for lunch and left him there which was much better for him and for me!
good luck! and no matter what happens (and its never what we think!) just keep thinking about the end result!

Flossish Wed 17-Sep-08 21:46:48

Hi there, I had one natural and one induced delivery. I love both for different reasons. DS felt out of control and I felt misunderstood, it was fast and prompt. DD i felt in control and completely understood but found it much more painful. I would very much like to add here that DS was not induced and was 7lbs dd was induced and was 10lbs so there could lie the difference with the pain issue! i didn't have epidurals either time.

-do I have to be continuously monitored? (I know that there are different stages and that I may not need a drip - at what stage do they insist on monitoring)

I only had pessary, so no I was not continiously monitored. In early stages i went to city centre shopping. In later stages I did not want to move for toffee.

- do they always break the waters or if you are progessing after the gel/pessary do they just run with it?

I have my waters broken. To me it was just what they did. i went from 2 - 3 cms in about 8hrs, with the pessary and from 3 - baby in 2.5 hrs with my waters broken. For me anyhow it was very much a part of the induction that was necessary and meant I did not have the drip.

-will I have to be on my back? Can monitoring be done on my side or all fours?

I was told to get on all fours at one point. I can't remember why. So yes I think monitoring can be done on all fours if required.

-will I have to have a line in my hand or can I refuse that up to the point at which they think I do actually need a drip if it happens?

I was not cannulated at any point in my induction. IME in most young healthy child bearing age women, especially those mid labour, hot bothered and most likely with raised blood pressure cannulation would not be a problem!!

-do you generally need a catheter if you have an epidural?

IME as a nurse yes a catheter is required if you have an epidural although the type I work with are different, catheters are useful as there is a lack of sensation to the lower part of the body and also to monitor urine output as the epidural can cause urine output to drop.

- do you have to stay in hospital longer after an induction or if things go smoothly could I be home after a few hours (assuming I feel up to it!)

After my natural labour I went home 17hrs later. After my induction I went home 17hrs later - both times would have been sooner but had to wait for anti d.

Hope all this is helpful. I wouldn't change a thing about my DD's birth and I was planning a home birth so about as far away removed from that before a c section!! Good luck.

MummyToOneForNow Thu 18-Sep-08 13:25:35

Still here with no signs after my second sweep although cervix is still favourable so promising for an induction next week. The midwife thought they might well go straight for breaking my waters as it is my second and she thought I had already dilated slightly. Really useful to hear all the different experiences - particularly about being stitched by a woman rather than a man - it was a male registrar that stitched me up last time and am not convinced it was the best job

nappyaddict Thu 25-Sep-08 19:23:50

bouncy on the top sex
thai food
weeding the garden
cleaning the dishwasher out
laying a patio
star jumps
bouncing on a trampoline
cleaning all the windows
wiping the walls
orange juice
raspberry and cranberry juice
rotating their hips on a birthing ball
washing the car
mini golf
chamomile tea
massaging the roof of the mouth??
mix ketchup, soda and bbq sauce and pour over chicken wings??

nappyaddict Thu 25-Sep-08 19:25:38

sorry meant to say these are all tried and tested ways of bringing on labour from a group of my friends. some are a bit out there!!

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