Courtesy of Mishal Ali Zafar

Are Inductions Really That Bad? Not When They're Necessary

Ad failed to load

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, it seemed like she just didn’t want to come out. I tried everything I could to go into labor naturally, from nipple stimulation to walking for miles a day — nothing worked. Finally, my doctor told me that he would have to induce my labor, and as foreign as that concept was to me, it turned out to be just fine. If you’ve been told you might need to be induced, but have heard mixed opinions about it, you might wonder, are inductions really that bad?

Personally for me, being induced wasn’t bad at all. I was a week past my due date, so my doctor knew it was time to get things going. It turned out to be the right call, because my daughter had inhaled meconium (her own poop) in utero, and waiting any longer could have been extremely risky for her. So in my case, an induction wasn't bad, it was just necessary.

In an interview with Romper, Dr. Kenneth James, OB-GYN at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills, California, says that inductions should really only be done when there is a medical need. He says that the standards of care recommend inducing between 41 and 42 weeks of gestation for a low risk, uneventful pregnancy, and the risks surrounding being induced are increased when performed earlier than recommended.

Ad failed to load
Giphy

James explains that when inductions are given without any true medical reason or need, they could increase the risk of complications. “There are many potential side effects to the mother and baby of receiving medication,” says James, “whether it be pre-induction cervical ripening agents, Pitocin, intravenous narcotics, or an epidural.” He adds that there is also a failure rate to induction, which can lead to a C-section, so a true obstetric reason would lower the emotional and medical risks for an induction of labor.

Dr. Adrienne Zertuche, OB-GYN at Taylor, Suarez, Cook, Carroll, and Adams (Division of Atlanta Women's Healthcare Specialists), agrees that in general, inductions should only be done for medical reasons, or if you have gone past your due date by one to two weeks. She says that typically inductions are done in a hospital setting where your baby, contractions, and cervical change can be closely monitored. But if you have had a low-risk and straightforward pregnancy, Zertuche says that your obstetrician may even be open to you trying to start the process at home once you reach 39 weeks with natural methods.

Ad failed to load
Giphy

So what exactly does an induction entail? Well, remember that every woman and every pregnancy is different, so how you are induced may depend on your specific situation. But in general, according to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), your labor will be induced by a medicine, like Oxytocin or Prostaglandin, which will trigger your hormones to stimulate uterine contractions. Once you are in labor, if your water doesn’t break on its own, the APA explained that your doctor may need to rupture the membrane artificially by brushing your cervix with a sterile hook. I have to admit, the most uncomfortable part of getting induced was having the doctors try to break my water. It took a little prodding and poking, but eventually it was the water breaking that intensified my contractions to go into labor.

I don’t know if inductions are good or bad, but I know that in cases like mine, they are necessary. Getting induced is a pretty anticlimactic way to go into labor though, and you may need to throw all your birthing plans and preparations out the window. But at the end of the day, if your healthcare team suggests that you be induced, you should definitely take their reasons into consideration.

Ad failed to load

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

13 Unique (& Totally Not Mainstream) Mother's Day Gifts For The Hipster Mom

Hipsters thrive on being outside the norm and not really digging anything considered "mainstream." Whether it's in their fashion, what music they listen to, the books they read, or how they enjoy beverages, there's just something that makes them dist…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}