My friend is scheduled to be induced in a few days which is NOT what we want...And I cant figure out a good reason for. None the less, please let me know of the myriad of things she can try to get her labor moving along --and soon!
While it is true that the risk of stillbirth increases slightly w/advancing gestational age....statistically the risks are still lower than the possible complications involved in having a premature baby or a baby that suffers complications from a c/sec. So in choosing an induction that is not truly medically indicated is not avoiding risks of stillborn as much as it is trading that risk for another.
Actually, nipple stimulation is NOT recommended to do before your DD since it can cause contractions, and presumably start labor. If you begin doing it weeks before your DD you are taking the risk of forcing labor before the baby is ready. It is also NOT recommended that you do it for hours, as it can cause strong contractions. It is recommended that you stimulate your nipples, one at a time, for only 5 minutes at a time, per breast per hour. It is also not recommended that you do it while having a contraction or after they are coming 3 min apart or lasting 1 min or longer.
I'm 40 weeks tommorrow, and trying for a hospital VBAC...been having some contractions but nothing too consistent unfortunately! I've been drinking red raspberry leaf tea, taking (2) 1300mg evening primrose oil gelcaps a day and doing accupressue with my hub by off and on for about a week now...so far nothing had brought on more contractions! We just spoke to an accupuncturist today and are hoping to meet with her either tomorrow or Saturday if I don't go into labor by then! =) My hubby is absolutely convinced that since there's a full moon this weekend in just a couple days, that I'll be having the baby this weekend - and I definitely hope he's right!
At about 36 weeks, we started having second thoughts about the OB we had chosen, because he started talking C-section!! When I asked why, he said that I was just barely starting to "thin out" and since I hadn't dilated any yet, he didn't think my cervix was going to be favorable for a natural child birth! (Remember I'm trying to have a VBAC!) LOL I just looked at him loike he was NUTS! I mean seriously...if he were willing to let me go 41-42 weeks then why t=start talking about a C-section so soon?? Well, needless to say, I was very upset...Then to top things aoff we hated the hospital that he was telling us he birthed at too when we visited it!!! So at that point I was almost 38 wks, and definitely wanted to change to another doctor ASAP. We also had are minds set on birthing our daughter at the hospital where we had our first daughter...they are very up on natural childbirth methods, have spa tubs to labor in, birthing balls to sit on, birthing chair/beds, and my new Dr. is well known on the staff there! He was the only Dr. we could find to take me this late in my pregnancy, but so far things are going good. He's a high risk Dr. who deals mostly with multiples, and other problem pregnancies....but a midwife I've been talking to have also referred patients to him if they're home births had issues...and I know he also had alot of experience with VBACs as does this hospital in general!!
So at this point, I'm just trying to keep my mind focused on the birth, listening to my hypnobabies tracks (which are amazing I might add!), and waiting on my daughter's arrival! I'm also hope that my Bradley teacher will be available to doula for us at the hospital too!! =)
So the pregnancy begins and ends with the 2WW (two week wait). First you're waiting 2 weeks to take a PG test, and then you start tapping your toes at 40 weeks hoping you don't have to wait 2 whole more weeks for the baby! I hope you have some fun stuff to do to distract you between now and then. Wish you a wonderful birth.
Even if she is tired, try walking, LOTS of walking. I went for a LONG walk on the beach, and it was pretty strenuous for how huge I was. I'm convinced this is what started my labor, as my water broke a few hours later when I went to lay down.
I do wonder why "natural" methods of induction are OK but OB/MW methods are not? (I put natural in quotes because I don't see anything natural about drinking castor oil! ) BTW, don't both MW and OB break water as a natural method? Pitocin isn't evil and helps lots of women deliver vaginally that couldn't otherwise, WHEN used sensibly of course.
Induction is not a bad thing in and of itself. No, it's not good if you are not favorable, which is somewhat dilated and effaced. It does help lower the rate of still birth which increases ever week after 36, but JUMPS after 42 weeks. I recently read the saddest story of a mom that waited and waited, refused induction and had a still birth. How VERY VERY SAD.
Its a balancing act, but this is why you have a doc or MW to advise you.
I think the "natural" methods of induction are OK b/c they will only work if your baby/body is ready. Other methods, such as ARM or Pit interfere w/the normal progress of birth, can cause complications, and mean that labor/birth will happen/has to happen whether or not baby/body is ready. Natural methods encourage, other methods force.
Studies/research shows that ARM shortens labor by about 30 minutes. However, it also increases chances of cord prolapse and posterior engagement of the baby which makes delivery harder, as well as removing the "cushion" between the baby and the contractions making labor more stressful on the baby. This can sometimes lead to non-reassuring fetal heartbeat which often leads to c/sec. If a Midwife is suggesting ARM to speed up or induce labor you probobly have a MedWife NOT a Midwife.
Stillbirth actually begins to increase after 32 weeks. Some of this is due to the increased incidence of HBP/preeclampsia as the pregnancy progressess and increased difficulty controlling diabetes later in pregnancy. I am not sure if the rate of stillbirth has decreased as the rate of inductions has increased. I do know though that as the rate of inductions has gone up a new condition has started happening "iatrogenic prematurity."
Induction is just like any other intervention. It can save lives and is a useful medical tool and it comes with its own set of risks and complications. I think that the risk/benefit needs to be more carefully considered and balanced that it is in our current maternity care system.