If you are still with child this week, your OB/GYN may be discussing the possibility of inducing your labor. It is likely that you will be given a “D day”, that is to say that if you don’t go into labor by a certain date (may or may not be your original due date), you doctor will start the process by a few different techniques. Of course this will all depend on whether or not this is your first pregnancy (as it is more difficult to guess how your body will respond with the first go round, while if you have done this a few times it is pretty normal to have similar scenarios again) and the estimated size, weight and position of the baby. For most, the doctor will schedule an induction for the day after your due date, which means that if you do not go into labor on your own by then, she will “force it”. There are several ways to do this. Some OBs will choose to simple break the waters bag, in hopes of coaxing the body into contractions. Some will use a small pill that is placed just inside the cervix that will spark the onset of contractions. And the other common technique is the introduction of pitocin through an intravenous drip. Pictocin is a synthetic form of Oxytocin, which is our body’s own natural hormone that is responsible for starting the contractions, among other things. If any of these techniques are necessary do not fret about your abilities. It is still completely possible to have a pain-reliever free labor and delivery even if you are induces. Although I will give a word of caution, when you go into labor without assistance, you experience a progressive building of pressure and intensity (starting at several minutes apart and only lasting 30 seconds or so and then building up to a minute apart and minute long), however when you are induced most tend to jump right into full-blown labor within 15-20 minutes of the procedure. All three of my pregnancies were induced via Pictocin and I managed to avoid pain relief all three times, so it is possible. But as I said before, it is no reflection of your mothering skills if you choose to use medication to sustain yourself, some people just prefer not to.
Word of the Week
Induction – noun – the act of inducing, bringing about, or causing (www.dictionary.com)