Before I get to the reasons to induce labor, I have to touch on some reasons that people induce labor, when really, it would be better to just keep gestating.
Please, for the love of God, ignore your OB advising you to induce labor because:
- You're 39 weeks pregnant, so why not?
- You're 40 weeks pregnant, so why not?
- You're 41 weeks pregnant, so we have to.
- You're 42 weeks pregnant, so we have to.
- The baby will be TOO BIG, and never come out.
- Your doctor is the one on call that day.
- You're tired of being pregnant.
- Being 39 weeks doesn't mean your baby is ready to come out. The last couple weeks in utero baby works on the sucking reflex, so more time in means better breastfeeding.
- Congratulations! You're 40 weeks. A good marker to make it to, gestationally speaking, but not a reason to evict the baby. See my last post for more about how we got the "40 weeks" number.
- 41 weeks. This is frustrating, but normal. Since doula training, I've read over and over again that the average first pregnancy is 41 weeks. That would mean that most first babies need that "extra" time.
- 42 weeks. Goodness, at this point, your OB is threatening to come to your house and hook up the pitocin, the birth center says they won't take you and all of your relatives are calling. It's annoying, but it seems your baby is just not ready to come out.
- The first two births I went to featured 9lb and 9.5lb babies. The baby WILL come out. And really, there's no way for your doctor to determine if the baby will fit until you're actually pushing the baby out (unless you have a misshapen pelvis).
- Ah, the "I want my doctor to be there." First of all, inducing labor the day your doctor is on call doesn't mean they'll be present because the labor could take longer than their shift. Secondly, they really only show up when you start pushing anyway, at which point the kindly nurses, your partner and your doula have done all the real work of helping you through labor.
- At the end of pregnancy, aren't we all. Even I tried most of the "natural" ways of starting labor. The good news is that if you go out to dinner, go to a movie, clean your house, etc, eventually whatever you're doing will be interrupted by you going into labor on your own.