Natural birth, assisted birth, active birth, induced birth…Isn’t it all giving birth? But isn’t giving birth a (the most) natural process? Well…my own experience and talks with people who haven’t experienced this glorious life event show we typically distinguish between two roads for the baby to join our world – vaginal delivery and C-Section. And I don’t believe most of us realize the significance and impact of the way a baby is born, not in physical and medical, but in emotional terms. For the mother, and for the baby.

Induced birth has become a common practice, the rates are dramatically rising. So are those for cesarean section (subsequently or not). Women, especially those who wanted a normal birth, are usually not prepared or informed enough about the risks of induction. It is not a routine harmless procedure. It should not be done for convenience, but in the presence of medical indications only. Unfortunately, it’s not the case…more and more often. At least 1-in-5 women have her labor induced, maybe more. While some of these inductions are medically necessary, most are only marginally indicated. As many as 40% are unnecessary – or elective.

Why I believe it is important expecting mothers to be informed. My birth was induced. I was not well informed and I was not prepared to react. I expected and craved for a normal birth with a natural start of labor. What I knew was normal Pregnancy length is 40 weeks and all beyond that brings some risks. Fear is often a leading factor controlling our thoughts and actions, and not rational thinking. The fear not to harm your baby by confronting your doctor’s decision with your incompetent opinion…or wishes…I was 6 days overdue and my obstetrician said we don’t need to wait any longer. There were no indications that the baby was in distress. Nothing I was informed of. My reason was telling me that was the right thing to do. My instinct was telling me I might wait a little more for a natural start. But with a family history of induced births, already eager to see my baby, and getting a bit nervous about having to constantly answer the question “Is everything OK? Why wouldn’t he come out yet?” by family members and friends…Just made me accept the situation. For me, induction triggered a wave of other medical interventions, a necessity for pain relief and epidural (because synthetic oxytocin makes contractions stronger and more painful), baby in distress and an emergency C-section. We were both safe and sound, and I’m thankful for that. But I still live with a sense that we could have waited more before induction. I’m not saying induced births always follow this course. There are many cases of an absolutely normal process leading to a normal birth (if not natural). But my body was just not ready. The baby was not ready. That’s why I believe every woman needs to know more about the procedure. Why it might be necessary and how to make sure it is properly done. Why it should not be elective. What risks it bears.

There are many articles providing information about the methods of induction, what it is, how it affects birth. But this insightful publication adds more value to the discussion taking into consideration both the moms-to-be and doctors’ point of view. It pays attention to the common myths surrounding birth induction and what are the risks of waiting for labor to start naturally. The author of the article, Aviva, is a midwife, herbalist and functional medicine doctor specializing in women’s health.

“Each method of labor induction carries its own small to more significant risks. Balloon catheterization and rupturing the membranes increases risk of infection to mother and baby, misoprostol increases the risk of uterine rupture, and Pitocin can cause a number of medical problems – most notably fetal distress – and generally requires an epidural to reduce the pain from Pitocin-induced contractions. Epidurals also carry risks. ” she says in her article. She continues to explain that if labor induction is really medically indicated, there are ways to maximize its success while minimizing risk to you and your baby.

Go through the article below for a detailed explanation of the process, so that you are able to make an informed decision if it would ever come to your head.

Labor Induction, Choosing What’s Best for You and Your Baby, and The Low Down on Natural Approaches: Part 1 – Aviva Romm

Labor induction rates have risen dramatically in recent decades, and along with this and in part as a result, so have cesarean section rates and preterm births. We know that labor inductions are too often done unnecessarily and for inaccurate indications, and they may lead to a host of additional unnecessary interventions that increase risk for mom and baby.