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inducing labour in "older" women

(25 Posts)
littlesthobo Wed 08-Jul-09 23:19:48

I'm expecting DC2 in December, and have just seen a consultant who told me it would be sensible to start having sweeps at 39 weeks to kickstart things. I'm 40, healthy, had a normal pregnancy and birth with DS1, and would prefer to go into labour spontaneously as it seems to lead to fewer complications from what I've read. Anyone have any thoughts? I'd be grateful.

Nekabu Thu 09-Jul-09 06:03:31

I've been told that a lot of hospitals do it as their standard procedure but I've already said no to being induced unless there's a problem and I need it. Other hospitals seem to be dying to induce from day one over no matter what the mother's age - they just can't seem to wait!

MsBrandybuck Thu 09-Jul-09 06:41:29

I'm 43 and DC2 is due in September. My community midwife told me when I booked in that I would not be allowed to go over. Seem to have got lucky with hospital though as the registrar I saw recently said their policy is that induction is unnecessary but they would if I wanted it but it was more for older mums' benefit if anxious.

I thought sweeps only work if you are ready to go anyway so not sure if I'd refuse. I have said I would rather have a c section than be put on a Syntocinon drip again(high risk if induced). I was given one last time to speed things up because of meconium in my waters but had gone into labour naturally at 38 weeks. Hoping for the same this time (obviously without the meconium).

Longtalljosie Thu 09-Jul-09 11:19:26

From what I understand (by which I mean from what I was told at NCT) sweeps and even a pessary don't really change your labour from what you would have experienced otherwise - it's only once you get the drip that it's different. But I'm sure there will be more qualified people than me on in a minute who can tell you what's what

BlueChampagne Thu 09-Jul-09 13:15:24

Are they trying to avoid a Christmas rush? I'm 40 and expecting DC2 in Dec but no mention of early induction so far.

loganberry12 Thu 09-Jul-09 16:54:21

im 43 and expecting my baby in august but no one has mentioned this to me about being induced early must be the area you live that may be their policy.

ohmeohmy Thu 09-Jul-09 17:57:14

It is soooooo annoying that some birth professionals don't have any faith in women's bodies to birth their babies when they are ready. They can't force you to do anything though they will try and scare the crap out of you. Trust your instincts and if they are pushing for induction find out why? Age isn't a good enough reason IMO and if there is no evidence of anything untoward going on, be monitored and wait. Due dates are arbitrary anyway. 5% arrive on time, 37-42 weeks is normal gestation. Why haul a baby out before it is ready when there is no need?

littlesthobo Thu 09-Jul-09 23:06:57

Thanks for all these - my gut instinct is also that it comes down to when the baby's good and ready, but I'm pleased to hear that a sweep isn't essentially induction. Think I will stand my ground should there be mention of more drastic measures! The hospital is falling over itself to promote their new birth centre, so the least I can do is enter it in the spirit intended...

MrsSpringsteen Thu 09-Jul-09 23:10:21

i had a baby at 40 last summer and was induced...this was for very personal none medical reasons

had i not requested it - there was no way this was a consideration...why would they ? i have never heard of it...

Northernlurker Thu 09-Jul-09 23:14:36

My local hospital is definately quite keen on inducing older mothers once they go past the due date....and then they wonder why the c-section rate is above average.hmm

PacificDogwood Thu 09-Jul-09 23:18:15

Whoa, membrane sweep is NOT induction.

grin at "older" mother at 40, though!

The reasoning behind not letting women go over 40-42 weeks (policy varies from hospital to hospital) is that the placenta may become less efficient and statistically there is an increased risk of intrauterine death. I am rubbish with remembering numbers, it is a small risk but one you should be aware of.

I had 2 membrane sweeps when pregnant with DS3, the first at 41 weeks, the second at 41+4, and went into labour the following day. Now, was it the sweep or was I ready to pop anyway, who knows? A sweep can only be done if the cervix if soft/open enough to allow at least one finger inside to do the sweep. This releases prostaglandins which can trigger labour.

I was 42 when I had DS3, currently hoping to have similar great delivery next year with DC4 grin - will be 44...

MrsSpringsteen Thu 09-Jul-09 23:19:26

RESPECT pacifucdogwood grin

PacificDogwood Thu 09-Jul-09 23:21:48

'Tis was VBAC, too <preens>

I'll relieve you of my smugness now, off to beddy-bys, night-night!

MrsSpringsteen Thu 09-Jul-09 23:23:05

wow good on ya girl

how old were you with dc1 and 2?

PacificDogwood Thu 09-Jul-09 23:26:49

37 and 38.
Had induction with DS1 as 42 weeks, was ok, but not phantastic experience.
EmCS with DS2 at 31 weeks due to Placenta Praevia, again was ok, as we knew he would not be delivered any other way, and crucially he is ok.
DS3, brilliant VBAC experience, I could go on about it for ages (and frequently do on other threads blush)
Currently less than 5 weeks pregnant and after also having had 4 MCs I am still not entirely confident this is going to go anywhere....
Sorry about thread hijack smile

MrsSpringsteen Thu 09-Jul-09 23:38:06

wow and double wow

I have had 8 pgs too 6 dcs and 2 mcs but no wildly exiting births..yet!

Nekabu Fri 10-Jul-09 05:02:31

I'm due today and have already had sweep & stretch offered for next week and been told yet again that their policy is to not let older mothers go over their due date. I'm getting pretty sick of this. It seems they just can't not fiddle.

alana39 Fri 10-Jul-09 09:31:24

Can't they check placental blood flow with some of the scanning techniques (some kind of doppler scan I think). Might be worth asking if they can see if you are really at risk of placental insufficiency, rather than just relying on the standard, fairly small risk % to assess you as an individual (they check this kind of thing when they suspect slow intra-uterine growth). Even though it costs them money, I would have thought it is cheaper than having you in for maybe an extra day and night before delivery for induction, plus increased risk of further intervention right up to possible CS and several more days in. Can't hurt to ask. They might be less inclined to fiddle if you get a bit bolshy!

Nekabu Fri 10-Jul-09 10:13:07

I'm sure they can check and, as I'm starting to get a severe sense of humour failure about the whole thing, I shall be asking them to as I'm getting really rather tired with the whole fiddling about with if you're even slightly overdue! Getting very tired of it TBH, I've had several arguments already when they have done the 'Of course we'll induce you if you go over' speech.

PacificDogwood Fri 10-Jul-09 20:14:17

Remember, nobody can make you do or have anything done you do not want to. They need your CONSENT whatever their policy might be.

IME, it helps to be assertive but friendly. If you do not show up for your induction appointment wink there is really not an awful lot anybody can do about it.... Personally, I would not decline a membrane sweep though, as worked to wonderfully well for me the last time.

smile

bellatrixiata Sun 12-Jul-09 23:45:44

I was told this too (my first at 40 due in Nov) and was wondering how true it was. Bolshie friend has told me to read NICE guidelines as they have to work to them (but don't like you knowing what they are in case the guidelines don't support hospital policy specifically eg if they "recommend" but don't "insist" on a certain route)

Haven't got to read them yet - and only had one consultant appt so far so no arguments yet but there may well be later on :D

juuule Mon 13-Jul-09 08:47:03

I had my last baby at almost 44y. Went overdue by 2weeks. No-one that bothered. Once past 41w I was asked if I would like a sweep to try to get things moving but they would only do it if the Bishops score was favourable. Had the sweep. Nothing happened. They suggested induction at 42w and I was happy to go ahead with that as I didn't want to risk any longer. Induction with pessaries resulted in straightforward labour and delivery.

LeninGrad Mon 13-Jul-09 09:02:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stoat Mon 13-Jul-09 09:16:04

I agree with you Nekabu. I was "booked in" for my stretch and sweep at my last midwife appointment (which was 4 days BEFORE my due date). I politely told the midwife I didn't want one thank you very much and reminded her that I wouldn't be full term until 42 weeks.

She politely told me that I should have it done and that it wasn't "policy" to monitor the placenta or the baby as an alternative option.

I politely told her I would make up my own mind before the appointment.

We then smiled a lot at each other and she told me my baby was doing fine

I am now 40 + 5 and I am not going to have the stretch and sweep done before 42 weeks is up. I get irritated with the " this will happen next" attitude and would much prefer a midwife to say to me "these are some options, what do you feel about them".

I reckon it is mostly about sorting out the hospital & consultants diaries and managing their work. And I understand my maternity unit is really busy but I am not going to be bustled about or prodded. I really think my baby will know when it wants to come out and my body needs the time it needs to prepare.

I would just prefer not to have the midwife battle looming in these last weeks hmm

cece Mon 13-Jul-09 19:03:54

I am 42 and have DS2 who is 7 weeks old. There was no mention of this while I was pg and I must say I have never heard of it just for age. In the end I was induced but that was fro a completely different reason and I was already 4 days late..

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