Anxiety About Scheduled Induction

I am 10 days past due and scheduled for an induction. (My cervix has not thinned out at all.) I am a little apprehensive about the procedure and what will take place. I wanted to have natural childbirth but feel that I will be unable to due to the anxiety that inducing labor is bringing into my mind.

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Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

99.6 percent of all babies are born between 38 and 42 weeks but as 42 weeks and beyond approaches, concerns are raised about the optimal functioning of the placenta. If you have very "good dates," and they are sure you are indeed 41.5 weeks, they could run a biophysical profile (an ultrasound and nonstress test) to reassure everyone that the baby is doing well. Because fetal mortality increases after 42 weeks, some providers wish to start investigating fetal wellbeing and others begin induction at 41.5 weeks.

If the head is engaged and the cervix is ripe, sometimes rupturing the membranes is all that is necessary. But this commits to delivery within 24 hours. Another common procedure is to place prostaglandin gel near the cervix the evening before the planned induction and cervical ripening usually begins, which makes the induction easier and more successful. The gel alone may start labor.

If you and your support person and your provider all agree on the appropriateness of the induction, then try to view it as the time for the baby to be born. Bring everything with you that you had planned on using at home to help you through labor and try not to let the machinery bother you. No physician is going to really push hard if you don't respond to it. Rather they would probably hope that it ripens the cervix, and if the baby is responding well, they may stop and try again in a couple of days.

Oxytocin induced labor is not necessarily harder than your own contractions would be, it is just a bit more intense because it tends to be shorter. Instead of a long latent phase at home, hopefully, you may start labor a bit more rested than you normally would.

I hope all goes well for you.

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