If you've ever been pregnant, you've probably wondered about inductions before. How do they happen? Does it mean you get to pick your baby's due date? What are the weird things that happen when you get an induction? There's a lot of questions to ask, but it's that last one that went through my brain too many times while I was pregnant. I was already obsessed with all the weird things happening to my body during pregnancy, and I just couldn't imagine what other weird things would happen if I had to get an induction.
According to Fit Pregnancy, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reported that 20 to 40 percent of labors are induced. There's a lot of controversy about inductions — whether they are necessary, if they're a risk for C-sections, and if they are tied to premature births — but they happen. And, sometimes, they need to happen in order to make sure both you and your baby are safe.
So if your doctor has decided an induction is necessary or you just want to prepare, it might help ease some of your fears if you know what to expect. No two births are the same, but there are seven weird things that happen when you get an induction and you may not have thought of them before. (You didn't think the weirdness stopped with pregnancy, did you?)
1. You're Starving
I know, you're not used to being denied food when you're pregnant. But you might have to go without your favorite snacks and meals when you are induced. According to Parents, some doctors prohibit eating before you're induced because of the potential for nausea and vomiting. Talk to your doctor beforehand and see how they feel, but there's a good chance you'll be starving during your induction.
2. Your Contractions Can Become More Painful Than Natural Labor
You probably expected some pain, but it's weird that the pain induction actually inflicts on you could be worse than natural labor, right? Parenting noted that induced labor initiates strong contractions much sooner than active, natural labor, which can make it feel more painful. They also come closer together and are more consistent in an effort to get you to deliver your baby. Weird. Great.
3. Your Movement Is More Restricted
This really depends on how you are induced. The American Pregnancy Association noted that there are some induction methods that allow you to move around, but others may require constant monitoring of you and your baby, restricting your movement. If you were expecting to walk around the room and get into your own favorite birthing positions, an induction might affect that.
4. You May Have A Balloon Inserted Into Your Cervix
That's weird, right? It may not be a happy birthday balloon, but Parents noted that a Foley bulb may be used to induce labor. This is a small balloon that's inserted into your cervix and inflated, which causes your cervix to be forced open. Basically, there's a birthday party happening in your cervix. It is your baby's birthday after all.
5. You Could Have A Suppository Inserted Into Your Vagina
According to the American Pregnancy Association, prostaglandin is a medication that is inserted by a vaginal suppository and can cause the uterus to go into labor. This is one of the induction methods that could give you a chance to move around, but still — vaginal suppositories are weird.
6. You Could Be Waiting Forever
Like, forever. People assume inductions are done pretty quickly, but that's not usually the case. According to the March of Dimes, it depends on how your body reacts to the induction, but it could take anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days. Ugh.
7. You Basically Trick Your Body Into Labor
Have you actually stopped to think about being induced as a way to trick your body it's in labor? From feeding it drugs to mimic the hormones that start contractions to forcing your cervix open, the entire thing is super bizarre and kind of like a Twilight Zone episode. Oh well. Babies are weird, too, so I guess it works. Just wait until you get peed on for the first time. It puts all the weirdness into perspective.