Things that happen in an induction 

I was induced. I had to be so I didn’t really have a choice in the matter but in a sense I was pleased as I don’t think I could have waited till her due date to pray she come out. I thought they were pretty straightforward but until I knew the facts I didn’t really know much about the whole process. In most pregnancies labour will come on its own but for some, being induced is because of health reasons or complications that could affect both mother and child. The induction is when a labour needs to be started artificially.

Facts 

  • Having an induction is quite common- 1 in 5 pregnancies in the U.K. are helped by induction
  • An induction is only offered if the doctors and midwives feel it’s best for you and your baby
  • You will be encouraged to ask questions so ask ask ask- nothing will get the green light until you’re fully in the know
  • The whole process can fail on numerous occasions, most of the time it doesn’t happen straight away but it does help move the labour along
  • It’s not painful

Risks involved

There are risks and when induced you will be informed about these risks. Women who are induced have higher rates of intervention during delivery including requiring an assisted birth or a c-section. It’s not known if this is due to the induction process itself but it’s not taken lightly.
Step 1 
Your cervix will be assessed. Now this, this is uncomfortable. Your cervix will be checked to see what stage your body is at regarding labour and if an induction still needs to go ahead.  A midwife or doctor places a gloved finger just inside the cervix and makes a circular, sweeping movement to separate the membranes from the cervix.
Step 2 
You’re given Prostaglandin either as a gel or a pessary placed inside the vagina. Your cervix will be then assessed after 6 hours if a standard pessary is used, or after 24 hours in you have been given a slow release pessary. You will be closely monitored by the midwifery team who will keep an eye on you and your baby’s heart rate. For me I was given a pessary but was warned nothing would probably happen at all as I was being induced 11 days before my due date and this was my first pregnancy.
Step 3 
If after a particular time period nothing has happened, a doctor might artificially break your waters by inserting a small instrument into the vagina and cervix. This can be uncomfortable but usually means labour will follow pretty quickly after.
What you should know

 It’s a waiting game 

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It can take a few days for it to take effect. I was induced on the Wednesday and was lucky that in the early hours of Thursday morning my labour started but most of the time it can take a few days especially if it’s your first pregnancy and you’re being induced earlier rather than later. Just because you’re being induced doesn’t mean your little one will arrive straight away.

Your movement is restricted

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If you’re being induced it will be in the hospital on a ward with other pregnant women in the same situation. You’ll be closely monitored by a team of midwives and doctors who will be with you every step of the way. Once the induction happens you won’t be as mobile as before although keep moving.

You may be allowed home but don’t bank on it

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Depending on your situation you may be allowed home but this depends on individual circumstances but your healthcare professional will let you know if this is an option for you.

You’re tricking your body into going into labour

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I was induced 11 days early and Emily arrived the day after I was induced. It can happen at any time but my body wasn’t actually ready to go into labour and I think if Emily had her way she would have stayed inside for a lot longer.

An exercise ball does help


Use it. Honestly I bounced away on that hospital birthing ball like no tomorrow for hours whilst watching I’m a Celeb or chatting to other couples. It was the only thing that felt comfortable to me and no, you’re not squishing your baby’s head whilst using it.

Pain relief will be offered, take it

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Don’t be a martyr, if it hurts get the pain relief. Labour that’s been induced is often more intense than labour which starts naturally. Pain relief will be offered and take it, if it hurts and you don’t want medication have a warm bath or go for a walk, whatever works for you in your pain relief strategy.

Going to the loo doesn’t mean your baby will slip out

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I had a pessary and the long thread hung outside my body. Every time I went to the bathroom I was in constant fear I would accidentally pull it out or my baby would slip out. Even when I walked about that fear was constant. It’s a fear but a silly one. If for whatever reason your pessary does slip out, your midwife can put it back in again.

Sometimes inductions don’t work and a c-section is discussed 

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Sometimes your body just wont want to give into an artificial labour and if that’s the case, a c-section maybe offered to you. Your doctor will be on hand to discuss the next steps if induction doesn’t work.

Whatever happens you’ll have a bouncing baby in your arms in no time and this whole process will be put to one side whilst you become completely consumed by the gorgeous bundle of beauty that you’ve created.

 

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