Induction of Labour – do you REALLY need it?

The new AIMS book Inducing Labour – making informed decisions hits the shelves this month.  Superbly updated and revised by midwife, researcher, educator, author and all-round speaker of common sense Sara Wickham, this book is a must-read for anyone involved in birth in any way!  Visit AIMS for more information and order your copy today.

If you want a quick guide to the induction process, Rachel Reed, Midwife Thinking, has written a short guide to the actual process of induction and a little on the process of speeding up labour.

With so many women now having caesareans for failed induction, with all the additional risks to mum and her babies that carries, careful evaluation of the process, risks and benefits can make a massive difference to the experience of birth.

I’m not going to rant on and on about induction here, the evidence largely speaks for itself.  All too often women are only getting part of the story, and sometimes professionals themselves are not entirely sure what the evidence really says – another casualty of an over-stretched maternity care system.

Remember Brian?
Benefits – What are they?  Are they real benefits to you?
Risks – What are they?  There must be some…
Instincts – Is this what you want?  Does it sit right with your views?
Alternatives – There will be some, what are they, what are their risks and benefits?
Nothing – What are the issues with doing nothing, waiting, watching, expectant management?

Have you asked what is involved with the process?  Beware of anyone who guarantees you results or who describes the process as ‘gentle’, because women’s experiences simply don’t bear that out.  Sometimes induction is quick, but it is very rarely less painful than a spontaneous start to labour and progress in your own time under your own finely-tuned hormonal cocktail.