The Pros and Cons of Induction

Sometimes it’s medically necessary to induce labor – but many times, it’s a gray area and women have some say about whether they choose to wait or induce their labor.

I saw this video today from King 5 News in which Julie Ogata from Parentmap speaks on the topic of pros and cons of labor induction.

The video cites some very interesting statistics from Swedish Medical Center here in Seattle. By paying attention to who is able to get an elective induction – with particular attention to moms below 39 weeks and first time mothers – Swedish has brought the induction rate down for first time moms from 25% to 1%! That is a amazing. Doctors at Swedish also studied their patients and found that for inductions, the c-section rate was 3x higher than for women who weren’t induced! These are certainly statistics that catch one’s attention.

You can read more of the ParentMap discussion on induction on the ParentMap website.

Dr. David A. Luthy, medical director of the department of OB/GYN at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, speaks in the article about the increased risks for women who choose elective (note that word) induction. He does a very good job of stating the increased risks when induced over naturally/spontaneously starting labor. I’m excited to hear our Seattle physicians speaking about this common practice, so women can be informed about what we’re choosing.

If we don’t know what we’re choosing, it’s not truly a choice, right?

The end of the article talks about a different viewpoint – seeking control during the labor and delivery process. With an induction, you “know,” right? Though is that true?

Really, all you know when you induce is that you’re starting the process. I’ve attended enough births as a doula to know that the idea of control in labor is an oxymoron. You can’t control it despite all the careful reading, classes, doula, care provider, birth site and a 10-page birth plan! Actually, I’ll go so far as to say you can’t plan especially if you have a 10-page birth plan. Even a scheduled c-section can have unexpected outcomes or complications. And even if you, through some strange twist of fate, get the birth exactly as you plan, just wait for parenthood! All it takes is that first night when your infant is inconsolable and there’s nothing you can do about it to take the idea of control and throw it out the window!

Anyway I did like this video and article, and hope you do too.

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