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 labor and delivery 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.
It’s really important to understand the REASONS behind an induction, and we talk about that in chapter 2 of The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. It’s information every pregnant family needs.
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 (and I go into detail in each one in here).
That means that most often 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.
Because inductions tend to be longer, with more questions and more choices I totally recommend everyone take a prenatal class before having an induction. Studies show it can help it be more successful.
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 as to why) 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.
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.
Quick reminder, I used to think affirmations were total garbage, but I’ve changed my mind — and I believe that being positive about your induction can help a LOT! Grab my affirmations here:
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”
As a nurse, I tend to feel like 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. Although, the arrive trial debunked that a bit… but that’s a post for another day.
Ok, that’s some surface info on inductions…. but if you’re ready for information about ALL of pregnancy, birth and beyond come join me in The Online Prenatal Class for Couples!
And, if you’re not quite sure you’re ready for that whole thing, check out my free prenatal class. It’s your first step toward getting in the driver’s seat of your birth.
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
- Latest Posts
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.
As an evidence-based prenatal educator Hilary has delivered thousands of babies and has educated hundreds of thousands of parents from a diverse patient population to help them have a confident birth.