The Induction Question

Managing your pregnancy and labor:
Seek out a care provider who considers you an active participant in the childbearing process. (Midwives are wonderful for this.) Choose someone whose induction rates are low, who actively discourages induction of labor and who will only consider it for valid reasons. Check out the provider's cesarean birth statistics before you sign up. Ask some labor and delivery nurses whom they would go to for care.

If a midwife is not an option, consider the use of a doula or birth attendant who has experience advocating for clients and can spot flawed arguments with respect to the reason for an induction.

Inquire about the guidelines the nurses will use to increase the dosage of oxytocin. It can be quite stressful when you think you are in very good labor or at the limit of your endurance and the nurse turns up the IV rate every 15 minutes! Sometimes this is necessary to get a mother into adequate labor.

Ask to be taken to the bathroom a lot; it helps if you're up and vertical for a few minutes every hour.

Try to hang on to as many items in your birth plan as possible. Even if a mother has an induction or cesarean, she can still hold her baby right away in most cases. And if she can't, the father can. (I once knew a father who took off his shirt to hold his baby close to his skin, as his wife was unable to do this in the operating room.)

Breastfeed as soon as possible. Try to have one successful nursing experience before you and your baby take a long nap.

Ask the midwife or doctor to sit down and discuss the labor and birth with you the day after you deliver. Ask them all of those "why" and "how" and "next time" questions.

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