Once again our beloved Dr. Sara Wickham has blessed us with a treasure-trove of information, Inducing Labor: Making Informed Decisions!
Inducing Labor is an in-depth look at yet another topic nearly every woman will be faced with through the course of her childbearing years and, because “the research evidence does not always support the idea that it is better to intervene, and things are not always as clear-cut as some sources of information might suggest,” this is an essential resource indeed.
Inducing Labor begins with a discussion of the miraculous dance between mother and unborn child that is the process of birth naturally occurring birth.
“To make an informed decision—either informed consent or informed refusal—women need to know the value of waiting for labor to start on its own. The last days and weeks of pregnancy are vitally important for both the mother and her baby. The end of pregnancy is as miraculous as its beginning… amazing things are happening to prepare her body and her baby for birth.” Judith Lothian
Sara moves on to provide a thorough examination of the risks and benefits enmeshed within the variety of methods used to induce labor, including the stretch of the cervix and sweep of the membranes, the administration of synthetic prostiglandin, the administration of misoprostol or cytotec, the insertion of foley catheters and laminaria tents or sticks, the rupture of membranes, and the administration of pitocin.
Sara then cites and expounds upon the circumstances that inspire recommendations for induction, including “prolonged” pregnancy, “prolonged” rupture of membranes, babies that appear small or large for gestational age, “advanced” maternal age, and the conundrum of “clinical complexity.”
She also leads us on an exploration of the times induction is questionable or contraindicated but may still be recommended, including twin gestation, breech presentation, pregnancies achieved via artificial reproductive technology, fetal demise, VBAC, gestational diabetes, insulin-dependent diabetes, reduced fetal movements, and maternal request.
Sara concludes her wonderful book with a discussion of the various modes of “natural” induction and a list of six questions to carefully consider regarding the induction of labor.
“Induction… carries risks which need to be weighed against any possible benefits.”
“Women have the right to make their own decisions… and guidelines are just that: a guide.”
Yes, know the science! But also know yourself. Use both to make your choices, and be sure whomever you hire to serve you knows and honors both as well ♥
Kim Woodard Osterholzer, Colorado Springs Homebirth Midwife and Author
Books by Kim: