Monday, March 8, 2010

Social Inductions

I am getting requests to address the issue of social induction. I really hadn't even heard the term before, considering instead, scheduled induction. Which is different from elective induction. To induce labor, there must be a protocol followed that is considered standard of care. Your best source of information is ALWAYS your provider. After all, your health care team is responsible for the BEST outcome.

Women get very anxious at the end of a pregnancy. They worry about whether they will make it to the hospital, when it will happen and how it will go. They begin to ask questions about how they will know that they are in labor and what happens if they are "late" and mostly, they just get really uncomfortable, physically.

It is typical to feel short of breath and tired at the end of pregnancy. If your doctor has ruled out anemia or instructed you in how to supplement your iron appropriately, the difficulty that you have taking a breath may just be because the baby is getting really big and taking up a lot of room in your torso.

It is typical to have difficulty eating more than just a few mouthfuls for the same reason. You are running out of room. There is a simple fix and that is to eat a little bit all the time. Snack, graze, and carry nuts and water with you so you will nourish yourself well and also have the hydration you need to keep those Braxton-Hicks under control. Remember that Braxton-Hicks contractions are NOT real labor and can be manipulated by drinking more water, getting in a tub of warm, soothing water or changing activity. They will go away and you will know that you aren't in real labor, yet.

Backs hurt when you are sharing space with your baby. As the baby settles down deep in your pelvis, you feel it in your lower back and also in the front, like deep pressure. Some women experience sciatica and also increased vaginal secretions. Wear a maternity belt for more support and flat- heeled shoes and Tylenol is always safe in pregnancy, as is a heating pad set on medium.

Are you getting the idea? It is uncomfortable at the conclusion of your pregnancy. Women feel vulnerable, they have trouble sleeping ( Tylenol PM is safe ). Sometimes they have threatening dreams. Women in late pregnancy may need to sleep with lots of pillows behind their backs or in a recliner, to help with the shortness of breath and the indigestion they feel ( Tums are good for that ).

The message is that women are often miserable at the end of their pregnancy and they want relief from the normal physical and emotional travails. So they start to consider "getting the baby out of there" how ever and soon. That is when they start to ask their doctors and nurses for that social or elective induction. Your health care provider may explain to you that there is a time frame that is individual and natural in order to insure that your baby is ready. Important events like lung development must be considered. And the cervix that is long and closed and thick to keep the baby safe inside for all those weeks and months must be favorable for an induction to be successful.

Patience at the end of pregnancy and deferring to your providers is sometimes really hard. But remember that a pregnancy is ALWAYS temporary and it will conclude with a baby. There are reasons why it is best to wait and there are reasons why your medical professional will ask you to consider induction, when the time is right. Hang in there, IT IS ALWAYS A PROCESS.