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Women’s Wisdom – Making an Induction Positive

If you do need an induction, it may be helpful to learn from other women what made their induction positive.

Kate shares:

We had wanted to avoid induction as we were aiming for a natural birth. I was quite anxious about it and felt very vulnerable and out of control. It was a big shift but I decided I would remain open minding and just deal with things as they happened. I had heard that contractions in induced labour came faster and stronger so I was anxious about that, especially being my first baby.

When Jodie’s waters broke at 35 weeks and she tested positive for Group B Streptococcus, Jodie says the decision to induce was straightforward.

While I had not wanted to be induced, in the circumstances it was an easy decision to make.  We did not want the baby to be affected by something that we had the power to prevent.

Jodie’s labour progressed more slowly during the induction than expected but she was able to avoid further medical assistance by drawing on the relaxation skills and confidence she had developed during her pregnancy.

The midwife said that she’d heard I’d done calmbirth and suggested I could try relaxing and then bluntly outlined our options: increase the syntocinon to assist labour, which would most likely mean pain relief would be required, or wait for a couple of hours, at which point it was still likely that I would need to increase the syntocinon and require pain relief and maybe even a c-section.  I recalled at that point that induction often led to further intervention and this also made me feel quite sad.

I said to Matt that a c-section seemed inevitable when labour hadn’t started spontaneously and I might as well get it over and done with.  The only thing that made me balk was that I would need an epidural.  Matt was absolutely amazing at this point.  Instead of trying to rescue me (or simply agreeing to the c-section), he patiently listened, gently reminded me about what I wanted from my birth experience and then encouraged me by saying that I did have the strength to carry on and have what I wanted.  At this point, part of me wanted to run away from it all.

I felt so low. I couldn’t escape the negative feelings, which felt like they lasted forever (in reality it was at 5-10 minutes). I’m still not exactly sure what it was that turned my attitude around 180 degrees.  Most likely, it was the combination of the sharp shock of Cheryl’s stern talking-to and the reminder of the calm birth course, the strong support of Matt and the movement of getting up off the bed.

Cheryl reminding me to relax made me understand that I hadn’t been even though I’d been trying to. I’d been controlling my body with the vocalization, tensing my uterus so that the surges wouldn’t hurt. I had not followed the realisation I had during pregnancy: I have everything I need within me.  I told Matt that I needed to change position, something he had been encouraging for hours. Once in a grounded position, the room around me disappeared and I can only describe it as moving within myself.  I sat with my head lowered, relaxed my body and most importantly my mind with breathing and allowed the surges to wash through my body.

For other women the decision to have an induction may bring great relief from a high level of anxiety due to previous traumatic experiences or health complications. Nicki chose to have an induction at 40 weeks due to her mental wellbeing.

I had many years of infertility and 2 pregnancy losses. I was a nervous wreck by the time I got to 39 weeks. I had experienced a previous induction that had gone very badly so I was anxious, but with my mind racing with all the crazy things that could go wrong I asked my obstetrician how he felt about inducing me 3 days later. He told me to wait a few more days and if nothing happened he would support a induction. He gave me the full run down and informed me that he would be unable to proceed if I was not “ready” on admission to be induced.

My induction was my choice and I felt good about it, considering I was not coping mentally. I was also comfortable with an induction at 40 weeks because this baby was conceived via fertility treatments and we were sure of the dates.

Nicki says that although she chose an induction, she had prepared well for a natural birth and she requested a very hands-off approach from midwives and doctors.

I was 3 cm at admission even though I had not felt any contractions, so I was ready. My induction was a gel and I was 5cm after 2 hours of the gel being in. I progressed very quickly after I agreed to have my waters broken and my baby was born 4 and half hours later.

I refused an IV and requested intermittent monitoring (2 hourly) rather than continuous monitoring so I would be able to move around and use the shower. I rocked, walked, hummed, owwwed and moved though the contractions. I listened to wisdom from my amazing doula and best friend about positions and embraced the contractions instead of fighting them (well mostly!) This was fully supported by my obstetrician.

My obstetrician is very pro natural/water/mother led birth. He is a light in the world of obstetricians. He made me feel supported, educated and as though I knew my body and how to birth. He never doubted I would birth this baby naturally and left me alone for most of the birth.