Do women have labor induced for good reasons? Do inductions benefit the new baby? What happens to mother during an induced labor? What happens to baby during an induced labor? When is induction necessary?
Reasons for induction should be based on concern for the well-being of mother and baby. Sometimes a political climate of the community encourages inducing labor. Be honest with the parents about the reasons for induction. These are a few reasons why a midwife may want to induce labor: 1) a reduced volume of amniotic fluid, 2) fetal size (too large or too small), 3) evidence of fetal compromise, 4) fetal death, 5) mother’s health condition, 6) Pre-labor rupture of membranes 7) abruption or partial abruption of placenta.
Reasons to not have an induction: 1) if baby is small, 2) if due dates are not certain, 3) diagnosed placenta previa, 4) transverse of oblique fetal lie, 5) cord presentation or prolapse, 6) major pelvic structural abnormality, 7) active genital herpes, 8) acute fetal distress, 9) desire for a physiological natural birth.
There are many possible ways to induce labor, some are physical, herbal, or chemical.
Possible Consequences of Inducing Labor
1. Induction increases the risk of cesarean section, forceps, assisted delivery, shoulder dystocia, hemorrhage, fetal distress and meconium aspiration. These are possible consequences if mother would take an induction drug. When a drug is introduced into the body, Oxytocin is shut off in mom’s body. Labor is slowed down, even if mother’s contractions are often. Mother’s pain increases without the body’s oxytocin. To lessen the pain for mother, a drug to help mom cope with pain is given. Both drugs are now crossing the placenta and going into the baby’s system. Baby is trying to cope with strong contractions. Often baby is not able to have enough time to get ready for the next contraction. Baby’s presenting part is being shoved into the bones surrounding the vaginal canal. It is possible baby is getting bruised. It is possible baby is getting stressed. The heart rate increases. The heart monitor alerts the hospital staff that baby is in stress. Due to baby’s heart rate and possibly the length of time baby is taking to birth, the midwife or hospital staff say it is now time for a cesarean section. Mother is getting tired and so mother is almost relieved to have a c-section.
Because of the c-section, baby’s body will not receive the colonization of mother’s bacteria on its body by going through the birth canal. Going through the birth canal is baby’s first vaccination against disease. Besides missing baby’s colonization, baby is often whisked away by the nurses, so baby may feel abandoned by mother. Baby will feel alone and deserted. The cord will probably have been quickly cut, so baby did not receive a full placental transfusion. This means baby did not receive the stem cells and the body is trying to compensate for not receiving enough blood to fill the organs in baby’s body. Mother is most likely unconscious from the surgery. She has trouble focusing when coming to. She does not have the urge to bond with baby as she is forced to recover and the natural oxytocin is off. This makes it difficult for many mothers to bond with their baby after surgery.
2. Induction is one of the largest causes of prematurity. Babies born before full maturity can suffer from breathing difficulties or transient tachypnea, trouble maintaining body temperature, increased risk for feeding disorders, colic and digestive disturbances.
3. Chemical inductions can not be stopped after given to mother. The chemical makes the uterus contract faster than would be physiological. This causes the baby to not have time to recover between contractions, causing stress on the baby. The presenting parts can become bruised. The mother becomes exhausted quicker and because the natural oxytocin has been inhibited, mother experiences more pain.
4. Hormones that assist a birth are interfered with when there is an induced labor. Any interference stops the natural process of mom’s hormones that would assist her to naturally listen to her body, that would gently take her to an altered state of mind, and that could bring her to an ecstatic birthing process.
5. Missing the natural oxytocin which causes parents to fall in love with baby during the first hour after birth would make it more difficult to experience family bonding.
More information on induction of labor: http://www.hencigoer.com/articles/elective_induction/
Holistic Midwifery, vol. 2 by Anne Frye
Unassisted Childbirth by Laura Kaplan Shanley
The Way of the Peaceful Birther, by Amy Cox Jones