Sometimes, due to health or other concerns, labor must be induced, or artificially started. Labor inducement can be a long process and induced labor is slightly different than “regular” labor.
Labor can be induced using a variety of methods. Check with your provider to determine which method they prefer to use. Some practitioners prefer to begin the process in the evening, with the hopes that you can sleep through most of the night. Other practitioners prefer to begin in the morning with labor inducements.
How to Induce Labor
The process can take anywhere from 1-3 days depending upon a variety of factors including your health and the overall well being of the baby. Because of the risks, most women who are induced will need to be regularly monitored. This may mean that you are confined to bed for the majority of the process. For some women, this can be bothersome.
I’ve found that contractions are different during inducements. During naturally occurring labor, I found that I was able to work with the contractions. During my inducements, I felt that the contractions were much more powerful and intense. They were also very close together which made me feel very overwhelmed. I ended up asking for pain medication for some of the inducements; with others I was able to get through the process without pain medication. During one of my inducements, it went so quickly that there simply wasn’t time for pain medicine.
Getting support during the process is important. It’s also important that your labor support person is aware that this is an inducement and that he or she is aware of the possible complications which could occur during the process. During my most recent inducement, my husband became so discouraged when I “stalled out” at 3 cm for 6 hours. I found myself encouraging him instead of concentrating on the labor!
Be prepared to be flexible. After 18 hours of labor, it appeared that I would need a c-section to complete the delivery because I just wasn’t progressing in my labor stages. I have to say, I was slightly discouraged. By the time the midwife left to make some final arrangements and came back a short time later to discuss options with my husband and I, I had fully dilated. Our son was delivered shortly thereafter.
My grandmother gave me some sage grandparenting advice 16 years ago before the birth of my first child. When I asked her how she handled the demands of childbirth, she simply replied: I kept my eyes on the prize. I find that “keeping my eyes on the prize” is essential to handling an inducement. Hopefully this advice will help you too!
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