Choosing to have an induction is super complicated. Many women find a LOT of reasons to get induced, but there are reasons NOT to be induced and today I wanted to share five of them.
So, why take my “opinion” on this? Hi, I’m Hilary — The Pregnancy Nurse 👩⚕️. I have been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of OB nursing experience, I am also the curly head behind Pulling Curls and The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. 🩺 I have helped with THOUSANDS (literally) of inductions after 20 years in labor and delivery. Plus, I had an induction of my own. So I really understand what you’re thinking and feeling, and what the outcomes could be.
I’d love to join you for the rest of your pregnancy, giving helpful tips and advice:
5 Reasons to NOT Get Induced
First off, before we get started I want to state the obvious. If your provider thinks there is a real MEDICAL reason for you to be induced you really need to take their opinion into deep consideration.
Remember, you should always get informed consent which means your provider helps you to understand:
- The Risks — what could go wrong?
- The Benefits — why they think you SHOULD do this
- The Alternatives — what else should we do?
Even before making the choice for an elective induction (that is an induction that doesn’t have a medical indication) you should go over that informed consent to make sure you’re taking into consideration ALL the facts.
So, this advice is only for families picking a medical induction that isn’t firmly medically indicated.
Inductions Start at the Hospital
While some people call a membrane sweep (also called stripping your membranes) an induction — that isn’t what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about an induction that will happen in the hospital. I talk about the most common methods of inductions in my post on 37 week inductions.
That means that you will be in the hospital from your first contraction to you last.
The hospital doesn’t have your things, your food, your TV, your comfy items. It just isn’t as comfortable.
It just means you’ll be in that environment the whole time.
Totally doable, but I think it’s something to think about.
Inductions Give Up Your Control
I think a LOT of people plan an induction because they want to control the birth. Mostly the timing.
I totally get that it is easier to plan somewhere for your other kids to be… but in reality you lose a lot of control.
Because you’re asking for an induction, that means you’ll need an IV. Also, like I said above you won’t have all those comfortable items you normally have at your disposal.
Your provider may recommend you not eat (and even if you can’t, it’s certainly not the variety of things you could eat at home).
Because inductions are higher risk (stay tuned) you will likely need to be monitored more than if you were in spontaneous labor.
It just has a lot of requirements I think a lot of families don’t think about.
BTW, if you’re starting to wonder what you don’t know about an induction, I would 100% recommend taking a prenatal class. I go deeply into the reasons, and how an induction will happen in my prenatal class. I also go from admission desk, until your discharge, what to expect while you’re in the hospital. People love it (but you don’t have to take my word for it). 🙂
Inductions are Higher Risk
Inductions are always considered a higher risk than spontaneous labor. We are providing medications that are telling you uterus to do something it wasn’t planning on doing.
Again, normally, that works out just fine — but sometimes your uterus or the baby says no thanks and we have to do some stuff to make them happy again.
Before you schedule your induction, be SURE to ask your provider about the risks you should be considering.
Remember these risks are mitigated if your cervix seems a bit more ready. I talk a bit about that in my post on how long your induction will take.
Inductions Involve Us Doing More Things
The staff will be doing more with you.
More blood pressures.
More checking your belly to see how strong contractions are.
More visits to your room. Possibly more lab work and you’ll definitely need an IV (or a saline lock).
Possibly more vaginal exams to see how your cervix is opening (we need to make sure the medications we’re giving are working).
It just requires more of us. Which, in turn, can be annoying to you (although some people find all of that comforting).
Inductions aren’t Nature’s Way
The more we can let nature take it’s course, the better.
That’s always my belief as a nurse.
If your cut can heal well without us adding sutures, let’s just let it heal on it’s own.
If your bowels can move without medication, let’s let them do their thing.
If the baby can come out safely without a cesarean section, let’s let it.
THIS ISN’T TO SAY THAT SOMETIMES THOSE THINGS AREN’T SOOO NECESSARY.
But, when they can be avoided, I call that a win.
There are my 5 reasons to NOT be induced. Now it’s your turn. Tell me in the comments why you DO need/want to be induced. I’m not saying that an induction isn’t the right choice for a LOT of people — I just like to have people educated before they come into the hospital.
- About the Author
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A nurse since 1997, she has worked in various fields including pediatrics, geriatrics & hospice.
She has 20 years of labor and delivery experience in the San Jose, CA and Phoenix, AZ areas.