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#46: The Induction Decision: Handling Pressure and Making the Right Choice for YOU


The rates of induction have drastically increased over the years… and many providers are recommending everyone get induced at 39 weeks. Why? And how do you make a choice that feels right for you.


In this episode, we dive into the following:

  • What’s an induction

  • Why are so many people getting recommended to induce at 39 weeks

  • How to decide if an induction is the right choice for you

  • How to mindfully prepare for an induction


Listen to the episode now:


Welcome back to another episode of the Mindful Womb Podcast. Today, we're diving into a topic that's often a surprise to many expecting parents—induction. Picture this: you're in your third trimester, eagerly awaiting your baby’s arrival, when your provider suddenly recommends an induction. You might be left wondering, "What does this mean? Do I have to do this?" Let’s break it down together so you can make informed, empowered decisions.


What is Induction?

Induction is a process that artificially starts labor. There are two main types of induction: medical and elective. Medical induction is when there are health reasons, like preeclampsia, meaning we know there is a medical benefit to induce labor. Elective induction, on the other hand, is when labor is induced without a medical necessity, sometimes for convenience or personal reasons.


Understanding Your Choices

One key thing to remember is that induction is a choice. It’s not inherently good or bad, and you have the agency to decide what’s best for your body and your baby. Unfortunately, in the United States, the conversation around induction is often framed as if you have no choice. You might hear phrases like, "We’re going to induce you next week," which can feel coercive and disempowering.


Making an Informed Decision

When your provider suggests an induction, it’s crucial to understand why it’s being recommended. Ask questions. Get the facts. Know the risks and benefits of your specific situation. For example, the ARRIVE trial, a study published in 2018, found that inducing low-risk first-time birthing people at 39 weeks might slightly reduce the risk of cesarean sections. However, this doesn’t mean it’s the best option for everyone.


The Realities of Induction

Induction can be done in several ways, from mechanical methods like membrane sweeping or using a balloon catheter to pharmacological methods like prostaglandins or synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin). Each method has its pros and cons, and your body's readiness can significantly influence how long and complicated the induction process might be.


Personal Stories and Practical Tips

Let’s take a moment to hear a real-life example. My own mother chose elective induction when she was 18 days past her due date. She did this because she needed postpartum support that wouldn’t be available if she waited longer. This decision was right for her and highlights that sometimes elective inductions can be beneficial based on personal circumstances.


Preparing for Conversations with Your Provider

Preparation is key. Here are some steps to help you feel confident in discussing induction with your provider:


  1. Educate Yourself: Learn about the different induction methods and their implications. In my childbirth course, A Path to a Powerful Birth, we dive deep into these topics, equipping you with the knowledge to make informed decisions.

  2. Understand Your Provider's Induction Rates: Knowing your provider's practices can help set your expectations. Some providers have higher induction rates, and this might influence your care.

  3. Create a Birth Plan: Outline your preferences, including under what circumstances you would consider induction. This plan can be a powerful tool in ensuring your wishes are respected. Check out my free Birth Plan Template.

  4. Advocacy and Agency: Practice key advocacy skills. If you feel pressured, remember that coercion is considered mistreatment in maternal care. You have the right to make decisions about your body and your baby’s birth.


Induction can be a beneficial option for some, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s about making a "heck yes" decision that aligns with your unique circumstances and values. Whether you choose to wait for labor to start naturally or opt for an induction, being informed and confident in your decision is the ultimate goal.


Remember, you are the expert on your body and your experience. Stay informed, ask questions, and make choices that feel right for you.


 

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