Being pregnant during the holiday season brings a unique component to the time of year that many find full of joyful stress. If your due date falls between early November and early January, that stress can be amped up even further. Will your water break as you pull the turkey from the oven? Will you be able to decorate a tree or light candles with your children or will you be in the hospital laboring? So many questions about the various birth scenarios arise that it might seem like a good idea to schedule an induction to have some small control over birth timing. But is that the best choice for you and your baby when not medically necessary?
Induction of labor frequently increases birth interventions such as fetal monitoring, epidural anesthesia, instrumental delivery, and cesarean section. First-time mothers undergoing induction double their risk of having a cesarean, which increases risks in subsequent pregnancies such as uterine rupture, placenta previa, placenta accreta, and hysterectomy. Though VBACs and induction are compatible in most circumstances, a woman with a prior cesarean has a 33-75% risk of having another cesarean.
If your provider starts a discussion about scheduling an induction right before a holiday, ask questions.
- Is there a medical reason to start labor?
- Are there non-medical alternatives to induce labor?
- Am I or my child in immediate danger if I don’t labor now?
- Is my body ready for labor? (Ask for a Bishop score)
- What is the research on induction risks and outcomes?
- Do I need to make a decision now or can I wait?
Research your options and decide what is best for you and your child. Only a turkey should be on a timer.
Photography Credits: Jez Timms; Gabriel Garcia Marengo – www.UnSplash.com