Our office has pregnant women coming and going on a daily basis. In addition to helping these women with their daily pregnancy related aches and pains, we also discuss a variety of different topics including breastfeeding, labor positions, epidurals and inductions.
The average date of labor is 41 weeks and 1 day from conception. Due dates are estimates and some providers believe that we should be calling it a due month instead. Some research suggests that a protein is secreted by a mature lung initiates labor. The length of human gestation varies GREATLY woman to woman, even when ovulation is accurately measured.
So how does the talk about induction start? Most of the time as a woman approaches the 40 week mark, your provider may mention the possibility of induction if labor does not begin on it’s own. Induction continues to be one of the most common interventions in maternity care, despite recommendations against itfrom organizations like the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), unless medically necessary. In 2012, approximately 23.3% of pregnancies in the United States were medically induced. As is the case with all interventions in obstetrical care, there are absolutely situations in which induction is appropriate. However, many women feel pressured to be induced.
Medical reasons for induction include: severe diabetes, kidney disease, severe preeclampsia, severe high blood pressure and being past due when there is proven danger to the fetus. Scenarios such as having a big baby, past your due date, holidays, tired of being pregnant, or doctor does not feel comfortable going past due date are not medically necessary.
It is understandable that women may consider induction as they approach 40 weeks gestation. Especially if they are experiencing major discomfort. Your OB or midwife, doula, chiropractor, acupuncturist and any other trusted provider in your life can be a resource for you and your partner when circumstances like this present themselves. It is our job to educate our patients and allow them to make their own educated decisions. After all you are in charge of your own vagina!