Induction PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Women are often offered induction in order to get rid of the pain through no longer being pregnant. However, this is based on the assumption that PGP will be resolved as soon as the baby is born and, as we know, this is very often not the case. Therefore it is important to consider your reasons for induction, if it is being offered purely on PGP grounds. It is well known that induction contractions tend to feel stronger than those from spontaneous (natural) labour. Many women have reported that this feels very difficult to cope with on top of an unstable and painful pelvis.

If you are induced, you normally need to be monitored continuously, and in most hospitals this means that you cannot use a birthing pool (there are special [very expensive] leads that are now available to allow you to do so, but they are not widely available).

Research has shown that induction is more likely to lead to a "cascade of intervention" such as more pain relief, an epidural, forceps/ventouse and eventually a caesarian section.

At our conference in 2005, Malcolm Griffiths, Consultant Obstetrician, recommended that for women who have already had a baby, at 38 weeks induction is likely to be successful but may have a longer latent phase (i.e. the time between the first and second stages of labour), especially if the cervix is not ‘ripe’ (soft and squashy and ready for birth). He found that in women having their first baby, especially if they were less than 41 weeks and if their cervix was not ‘ripe’, they had a 35% chance of needing an emergency caesarian section.

Experts in PGP therefore recommend that unless your cervix is ‘ripe’, induction is not the best option if it can be avoided. In fact, by waiting an extra couple of weeks, you have the opportunity for more treatment on your pelvis, which may improve the pain and your birth experience, allowing you to make a quicker recovery after birth.

There is more information about your choice and the benefits and risks of induction at the NICE website.


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