Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Labor Induction?

I had my 38 week checkup today. The doctor checked my cervix and I am still only 2cm dilated. Bummer. I was really hoping things were progressing faster than that! The doctor then asked me if I wanted to be induced. What a horrible thing to ask an extremely uncomfortable, ginormous pregnant woman! Though I have to admit I hesitated, I told him that I would prefer to go naturally. Not only is there no valid medical reason for me to be induced, I've heard that induced labors are much more painful. Here are some other risks I found on the Mayo Clinic website:

  • Low heart rate. The medication used to induce labor (oxytocin) may provoke too many contractions, which can diminish your baby's oxygen supply and lower your baby's heart rate.
  • Infection. Inducing labor increases the risk of infection for both mother and baby.
  • Umbilical cord problems. Inducing labor increases the risk of the umbilical cord slipping into the vagina before delivery, which may compress the cord and decrease the baby's oxygen supply.
  • The need for a C-section. By definition, induction promotes delivery before your body is ready for labor — which may lead to poor labor progress and the need for a C-section.

It wasn't until after this conversation that I brought up my concerns about Charlotte getting too big. When I asked him how big he thought she was he checked my chart and said, "We're looking at between an eight and eight-and-a-half pound baby." At the time, I assumed he meant that she would be that big by the time I deliver, but now I'm a little scared that he meant that she is already that big! Assuming she does grow a full pound a week, that would make her potentially 10.5 pounds at 40 weeks! That would surely not turn out well. If that were indeed the case, I bet we'd be looking at a C-section. While I am against having either a C-seciton or induction, I would certainly prefer an induction to surgery!

Chances are, he meant she will be up to 8.5 pounds at birth. Regardless, there is a lot of advice online on how to naturally induce labor. Most of the advice involves some version of the following:

-stretches, exercises and gimmicks to get the baby to drop (bouncing on an exercise ball, going for a bumpy car ride)
-eating particular foods such as pineapple, eggplant or generally spicy foods
-consuming castor oil, primrose oil, raspberry leaf tea or other particular herbs

A few of these I'm willing to try, a few of these I'm not. I will admit, however, that I did consume half of a pineapple last night before bed. Ultimately, I don't think any of these tricks will work if your body isn't already ready to go into labor; obviously mine isn't quite ready. Still, I have to admit I got excited when a friend told me that pineapples are on sale at Safeway for a dollar each!

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