Short answer: YES!
It’s very important to talk about induction since 1 in 5 births in UK is induced.
What is induction? Induction is when your care provider starts your labour artificially.
When is induction needed? There are several reasons why women might need to be induced, but in this country, most inductions are performed for post-dates, meaning that, your labour hasn’t started naturally by 40 weeks, if you and your baby are healthy, this is not a medical reason for induction.
A term baby can be born anytime from 37 to 42 weeks, so what’s the rush? Also i you arrive at 42 weeks and decide to carry on with your pregnancy, you should be offered increased monitoring to check your baby’s health until birth.
Some of the valid reasons for induction are (but this doesn’t mean that you have to have one, every case is unique)
-Concerns about the baby’s health
-You have a medical condition such as diabetes
-High blood pressure
So, you decided that induction is the best option for you and your baby, now what?
Can I still use hypnobirthing if I’m having an induction? Absolutely! This is when all the hypnobirthing tools and decision-making processes play a big role. Make sure that when you’re discussing induction with your care provider, you have a full and open conversation about your options, asking all the questions that you might have.
Use your ‘BRAINS’ when discussing choices with your provider – ALWAYS ASK:
B-What are the benefits for mum and/or baby
R – What are the Risks for mum and/or baby
A – What are your Alternatives
I – What does our Intuition tell you
N – what if you did nothing
What happens with an induction?
There are three steps to an induction. Some women only need the first one only, some need all three, and some may start at step 2 or 3 depending on their progression.
Step 1 – Ripening the cervix
The cervix needs softening, opening and thinning to start labour. Usually, a prostaglandin pessary applied to your cervix is used to promote the ripening of the cervix. Some women may already be ripening, so they can skip this step.
Step 2 – Release of membranes
The next step is to release the membranes around the baby’s head, hoping that when that bubble of fluid around the baby’s head is gone, the pressure of the head on the mum’s cervix will cause the opening. Some women may have already broken the membranes naturally, so they’ll go straight to step three.
Step 3 – Artificial oxytocin (syntocinon)
A syntocinon drip is administered in a drip, this synthetic hormone causes the uterus to surge. When you are under this synthetic hormone your body will stop producing its own oxytocin which means that no endorphins (natural pain relief) will be segregated neither, therefore, surges can be more intense.
So, you have decided that induction is the best choice for you and your baby, now what? Is all your hypnobirthing practice thrown out the window?
I understand that if you’ve prepared with Hypnobirthing, you were expecting to have a certain type of birth. But actually at this point, when things are not going as planned, is when your hypnobirthing preparation is going to help wonders (trust me)
Ambience: Make the hospital room a lovely safe place to birth your baby, dime lights, fairy lights, positive affirmations, music, essential oils, and your pillow (this is a very important one) all is valid! No time for decorating the room? Eye mask, headphones and some drops of essential oil on your wrists will take you away from that hospital room in no time.
Hypnobirthing techniques: Use your breathing, it’s the most powerful tool for managing pain, visualizations, and deep relaxation.
Natural methods of pain relief: Movement, water, the comb, massage, dancing, singing.
Birth Partners: Make sure that your birth partner knows your birth preferences inside out, they’ll be there to give you all the support you need and help you to make the right choices.
Birth partner’s to-do list:
-Give encouragement: Tell her how much you love her, you’re proud of her, she’s doing a great job and all sorts of loving words.
– Physical touch: calming touch, stroking, massage, acupressure, hip counter pressure, cuddles and kisses, all good to help the production of oxytocin/endorphins
-Make mum as comfortable as possible – pillows, blankets, towels.· Offer water often and snacks to keep her nourished.
Mums: Recalculate and get into the right mindset for this new journey: You may be disappointed at this point, the birth you wanted has been diverted, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a positive experience. You have made this decision; you know that this is the best for you and for your baby now, so focus on the positive side of it. It’s time to recalculate, accept and adapt to this new situation, use your Hypnobirthing techniques to stay calm and relaxed, so you can produce the right hormones to help you to go through the process.
Communicate openly with your birth partner and let them know if you need any support or reassurance. Remind yourself that you and your baby are safe, and get excited about meeting your baby soon.
You got this mama! Every birth can be a positive one.