Educating About Dangers of Induction – Helping or Hindering?


Michel Odent, a French obstetrician, “likens gestation to apples ripening on a tree: ‘You wouldn’t pick them all on the same day, would you?’ ” because babies come on their own time when they’re ready not because you’re tired of being pregnant or have other calendar obligations. Then why the induction ‘epidemic’?

My best friend is due early June with her second child and I want her to have the best possible birth she desires. Not my birth, not her doctor’s idea of birth, not anyone else’s standards but her own. She had an uncomplicated first pregnancy with her now almost 3-year-old in the hospital with a doctor, induced, medicated, and on her back, if that suits her needs.

I am so driven to provide as much as information about normal birth that I will say anything as close to my personal testimony in order to get it across! I am a birth snob, yes, but she is still my best friend/pregnant/working mama, who deserves baby-and-mama-friendly care. My friend’s doctor, of course, suggests that she will have to be induced, of course, because the baby’s size is measuring large, of course. To this, I wanted to say:

“What?! Doctors don’t know jack sh*t about how big your baby will be!”

or

“Grr, thats why I hate doctors!”

Instead I take the kill-em-with-kindness approach and reply with,

20120418-003440.jpg

While what I wrote is not entirely scientifically-based, I still think it’s a starting point for her to question it. And she did! She called after that and agreed with my comment! She hates her OB-GYN practice but she didn’t take my sly advice to switch provider care to midwives but I’ll take what I can get.

My ideal situation would be for me to just send her the link to “5 Quotes to Remind You Not to Induce”, she switches to a midwife at 40 weeks NOW (Shana!) because she’s had enough of unpersonalized prenatal care, and have a healthy baby as she sees fit – not as her doctor sees as convenience.

What is another approach? How do you provide info without coming off as accusatory, know-it-all, or anti-everything? Any other helpful hints for me as a best friend?

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8 thoughts on “Educating About Dangers of Induction – Helping or Hindering?

  1. First off, most providers (whether midwives or obgyns) will not take on new (pregnant) patients at 40 weeks. For the midwife, it’s just not enough time for them to get to know their patient and their patient’s history. You know I switched providers 4 times during my pregnancy (1st health department, 2nd obgyn midwife, 3rd obgyn, 4th my current midwife). I switched early in my 3rd trimester, but I was still nervous that the 3rd or 4th switcheroo would decline me due to being too far along. So, if your friend is even thinking about switching –have her asap go to talk with the midwife just to get established! They typically have a free 1 hour meet ‘n greet. Besides, an extra opinion never hurt anyone!

    Also, I think sometimes the size of the baby is too big, but my midwife says it depends on a lot of other factors. Like, BECAUSE she’s being induced, the baby WILL be too big, because her body won’t have the time to naturally open up to accommodate the bowling ball down the alley. Then, because she’s “failing to progress” they will c-section her.

    I think a good compromise for your friend might be to get established with the midwife as a complement to the planned hospital birth and see if the midwife can function as a doula at the hospital for her. That way she will have someone there to reassure her and advocate for her if things start getting crazy.

    • You’re right, you’re right. 40 weeks is pushing it but I facetiously say that given that 40 weeks isn’t an expiration date neither. It’s normal to go past 40 weeks since all it is is a guess date (usually off, never accurate).

      I totally get what you’re saying!

  2. I wound up with preeclampsia with my first. We had to induce for heath reasons. That was the easiest, best, birth.

    I went into labor ten days early with the second. I walked into the hospital and had a baby half an hour later. I loved my personal oby-gyn but hated the practice. I was happy with the hospital. They were awesome. Still. I WANTED that epidural that I never got. I’m dreadful at mind over matter, and that little squid HURT.

    My best friend was forced by blood pressure issues to go to a hospital to give birth to her first baby, and she hated it. The second birth, she was able to do at home, and she loved it.

    She’s like you – all about ‘ok, everybody do what feels best for you’ while simultaneously advocating for something that was incredibly awesome for her :)

    • I’m happy to hear you got the birth you wanted! I really enjoy women making safe and informed decisions for their health and care, that is my main concern not if a mother home births, hospital births, or cave births :D

  3. I think the biggest thing you can do for her is be “information” for her.

    Most women don’t know anything about labor and birth the first go around. I didn’t know there were other options! I didn’t know I could tell the nurses to shove off when they insisted I stay strapped down on my back (you only have to be plugged in and monitored for a certain amount of time per hour – I could have walked like I wanted.)

    Looking back my labor wasn’t terrible but I wish I had been more educated about my rights and my ability to make choices. Next time I’ll still deliver in a hospital (because that’s something my husband won’t budge on) but I’ll do it naturally and my way.

    Your friend may be the same – we all think that hospital/medicated on your back/ is the only way it’s done unless we hear any different.

  4. Yikes, I’m going to sound like a horrible person, but for now I just don’t say anything because I can’t be certain it’s going to come out in a nice way! I’m still trying to figure out why healthy, low-risk, educated women would choose interventions. Personally, I don’t get it!

    • I’m the same way; sometimes I just word vomit and don’t realize it! I try to understand where she’s coming from but we believe in different parenting lifestyles, which is great because I have plenty of teachable moments.

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