Lets talk…induction

In October, the annual NHS Maternity Statistics for England report was released to the public. A couple of the key facts listed were that induction in birth has risen to 32.6% and spontaneous birth has decreased to 52.2%. With 1 in 3 women choosing to be induced, it is now more and more important for women and their birth partners to be fully prepared and to know their options when it comes to all forms of induction.

So before you start panicking because your midwife is tapping her calendar the closer and closer it gets to your estimated due date, take a step back, get a nice brew and have a read of this…

It is your CHOICE

You’ve gone for your 40 week midwife appointment and she’s already fretting. She’s throwing statistics left, right and center and begins talking about how long your NHS trust will “let you” go past your estimated due date and that she wants to get you booked in for your first stretch and sweep. WOAH. WAIT. HOLD ON. Let you? Stretch and sweep? Hopefully by now in your pregnancy you’ve done your homework as to the steps induction takes and know all about sweeps and you should also know that you make the decisions. I would never advocate going against medical advice if it is necessary for your or baby’s health, but if it’s not then remember to use your BRAIN choices.

Make it an event, like Christmas

One of the most frustrating things about nearing the end of your pregnancy is not knowing when you’re going to actually have your baby. This is where induction gets very exciting. By knowing what date you’re going to be induced on, you can truly prepare for your new arrival. Think along the lines of a “last supper” or date night, really enjoy and make the most of your last evening together, throw on a nice dress (if you can be bothered) and head to your favourite restaurant. Go for a final shopping spree in Mothercare and buy all the really unnecessary bits that you swear you’ll need but never actually use. Have a manicure and pedicure, trust me when you look back at the newborn photos and you have nice nails you’ll be thankful. Buy all the amazing snacks to have through the induction, they can take a while if the hospital is a bit busy.

Pack extra bits to keep you occupied

Inductions can take a while so this is a fab time to boost all your oxytocin and help the process along any way you can. As oxytocin is vital to childbirth and is the hormone of love, just think of everything that makes you feel happy. Take a good film (on a laptop/iPad) that always makes you feel warm and fuzzy, have your hypnobirthing mp3s and favourite tunes/audio book ready to listen to, take your own pillows and a blanket to make yourself really cosy, take a board game and play a game of rude Scrabble to get you both laughing, pack all that delicious food you bought. The list is endless but so simple to put together, just have a think of what makes you happy and feel loved.

Find out what your options are in your trust

A lot of NHS trusts vary on their policies and what they will allow you to do once you’ve begun the induction process. The first step in drug induction is the pessary which dependant on what process your hospital uses, you may be able to go home once the pessary is inserted. Make sure you ask your midwife about these timescales and your options so that you’re prepared.

All paths birth takes can be amazing and choosing an induction is no exception.

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