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Induction – Make your Decision based on fact not fear

Birth Preparation

Why Induction Matters

Currently 1 in 4 women are being induced in Australia.

Inductions can increase:

  • The need for medical pain relief most commonly epidural
  • Vacuum or forceps delivery
  • Emergency Caesarean sections

When deciding to have an induction we are often evaluating ‘risks’. This term alone can provoke fear or anxiety and can inhibit a woman’s ability to make an informed decision.  There is an element of risk in everything we do and we all perceive it differently.  In making a decision about induction we are balancing the pros and cons, based on evidence based information/statistics in relation to the mother and baby’s health. Equally important is the emotional impact on the Mother, her concerns, fears and anxiety about inducing or not need to be considered.

This information is based on Rachael Reed’s book ‘Why Induction Matters’  and the research is from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) WHO and Cochrane Reviews.

Induction – Decision Making Framework 

1. Reason for induction

Is your situation a complication or a variation?

Complications of Pregnancy – Medical Conditions
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Gestational Diabetes
  • Pre existing diabetes
  • Growth restricted baby
  • Reduced Fetal Movements
  • Prolonged pre-term rupture of membranes
  • Reduced fluid
Variations of Pregnancy

Variation is when Mum and baby are well but the variation may increase the chance of a complication occurring in the future.

  • Induction for post dates
  • Advanced maternal age
  • Vaginal Birth after Cesearean
  • Suspected Big baby
  • Multiple Pregnancy
  • Pre-labour rupture of membranes after 37weeks
Questions to be asked to assist with decision making:
  • Has the complication been medically tested and diagnosed?
  • What are the complications associated with your situation?
  • Why has the induction been offered?
  • Are you or baby showing signs of the complication occurring now?
  • Are there immediate concerns for you or your baby?
  • Will inducing your labour reduce the chance of these complications occurring?

2. Consider the Experience of Induction

  • What were you previous expectations about labour prior to this?
  • How will this alter your birth wishes?
  • What are the risks of induction?
  • What are alternative methods to a medical induction?
  • Does the induction have to be done now?

3. Consider the alternative options to induction

Waiting for spontaneous labour.

  • What are the risks of waiting for labour to start naturally?
  • Is there anything you can do to reduce these risks? Eg Monitoring blood sugars for GD
  • Will additional monitoring help your situation?
  • What are your boundaries about waiting? When would you revaluate?

4. Making a decision

Using the previous questions and applying BRAN.

  • Benefits    
  • Risks     
  • Alternatives        
  • Now       

Natural Ways of Inducing Labour 

  • Acupuncture or Acupressure
  • Homeopathic Remedies
  • Reflexology
  • Induction Massage
  • Nipple Stimulation
  • Sexual Intercourse
  • Castor Oil
  • Raspberry Leaf Tea
  • Spicy food
  • Essential Oils
  • Walking

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