Updated: Jun 10, 2021
Today, I just want to let you know;
It’s OK to decline an induction.
It doesn’t mean you’re a bad mother, or a difficult ‘patient’, or ‘selfish’ or anything else you’ve heard or are telling yourself.
I get it. There’s a lot of pressure to be induced going on at the moment. Sometimes it’s hard to revisit this topic at every single check up and stick to what’s true for you. You’re pressured, even though you’re clear: you don’t want an unnecessary induction. (key word *unnecessary, because yes, some inductions are necessary)
But this pressure is new. Until recently in Geraldton, women were not offered an induction of labour until they were 10 days past their estimated due date, unless complications arose earlier. Now, we rarely see women get to their due dates without an induction being planned or carried out.
The induction guidelines haven’t changed. What has changed is a recent study (ie ARRIVE trial) that suggests earlier induction doesn’t increase the rate of cesarean birth. This study has been heavily critiqued and most of the women in the study dropped out of it. (And cesarean birth is not the only measure of what makes something risky or riskier). What is clear from the study, is that the findings SHOULD NOT be influencing practice, that more research, especially research that explores a woman’s experience of birth and her psycho-emotional health and well-being is needed before guidelines and practice changes.
If you were to birth in another city or region, the pressure would not be as great as it is here in Geraldton at the moment.
So, I support you to stick to your instincts. It’s OK to say no. To say, not yet. I feel sad that you even need to say this. It simply shouldn’t be something that women need to focus on if they’re healthy with an uncomplicated pregnancy. It’s not fair, and it works against the softening and letting go that is required to go into spontaneous labour!
If you’re interested in learning more about the pros and consequences of induction reach out.
The latest research on Induction of Labour has shown that:
"If you have an induction as a first-time mother, you're more likely to have a baby that's distressed and your chance of having a caesarean is more than double and birth by vacuum is increased... If you look at the 2018 data, it's a 45 per cent rate of induction for first-time mothers, that was 25 per cent 10 years ago. In that time, we have not altered the perinatal mortality rate at all. No change in stillbirths and babies dying after birth." - Professor Hannah Dahlen
Read the study here (latest evidence)