Risks of early induction

During a recent meet with a potential client, I was told that her doctor had given her a choice to be induced on the 11th of January 2011, so the baby can have a ‘nice’ birthdate of 11/01/11 about a week short of her EDD. Needless to say I was taken aback (but didn’t show my reaction of course). Shocked also because she talked so casually about it and seemed to be considering that offer.

Now, I am not judging any mothers who opted for induction. I have had several mothers myself who were either induced or labour augmented because they were overdue or had other high risk medical reasons. That is a different thing. What I am saddened about is when doctors make early induction offers to mothers who have had a good and healthy pregnancy, and make it sound as if it is the most natural thing to do. Now remember that these first time mothers know no better because their doctors don’t really discuss the medical risks that entail an induction.

So Bismillah, for my community’s sake, here’s why you should try to avoid an early induction as much as you can help it…

– You might think that there’s no difference between birthing a baby at 39 weeks and 40 weeks (especially when you’re so tired by that time and all you want is to get the baby out!), but just an extra week of baby being in the uterus can make a significant impact on baby’s lung and brain capacity. Now don’t you want the best headstart for your baby?

– Last few weeks of pregnancy are most critical to baby’s lung and brain development. Some complications that may arise for elective deliveries between 37-39 weeks include among others: increased NICU admissions, increased feeding problems (difficult to establish breastfeeding) and increased respiratory distress.

– I’d like to touch on pitocin (synthetic oxytocin) – the drug they give you to induce contractions – but that would take another whole blog entry. Briefly put, this articifial hormone, while it mimics your own, is very different from naturally produced oxytocin from your body because it does not cross your blood-brain barrier. Why is this important? When a contraction gets intense, natural oxytocin crosses your blood-brain barrier so another ‘pain-relieving’ hormone known as endorphins (also known as happy hormones) can be released as your body’s natural pain-killers. But with pitocin, you don’t get this same dose of endorphins to counter the pain and intensity, so most of the time, the mother will want an epidural~

InsyaAllah we will discuss about epidural soon! Comments are most welcome 🙂