This blog about How to Avoid a Medical Induction is the first in a series of interviews with doulas.
A doula is a birth support person, for both you and your partner, to help you emotionally and physically before, during and after your labour. A great source of knowledge, I thought I would turn to this collective knowledge base to answer some common questions.
If you have any questions you would like me to put to this panel, please email me at email@example.com – I know they would love to help.
What would you do to avoid a medical induction?
“Answering from a personal point of view – be patient. There is so much pressure on mothers who go ‘post dates’, but with a ‘normal’ pregnancy, full term is considered between 37-42 weeks, and many women birth even later than this. There are many suggestions out there that lots of women try to induce in a more natural way, but in my experience, nothing is going to work until your baby is ready. The last weeks of pregnancy can be uncomfortable and cause some anxiety, however I invite mothers to try and embrace this phase. Take some time out to pamper yourself. Go for a walk on the beach. Have a long candlelit bath and talk to your baby. Get a pregnancy massage. It really is a special time for both you and baby, and I promise you baby will come when he/she is ready.”
– Jessica Nash
Your birthing day is so much more than one day in your life. It is an experience you will never forget, and my belief is that having a birthing experience where you feel safe, supported, and empowered, will deeply influence not only your bond with your baby, but your entire being as a mother. Likewise, feeling supported during the postpartum period can have a profound effect on your wellbeing. If you are looking for practical, informational, and emotional support for your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period, and are on the Coffs Coast of NSW, please contact me for an obligation free chat. I’d be honoured to support you on your journey. www.jessicanash.com.au
“Personally I would just trust that my baby knows when the right time is to be born so I would decline a medical induction unless there was a valid medical reason, due to the increased pain and risks that come with inductions. This can be difficult for many women who may not have the strength at the end of pregnancy to resist the intense pressure from their caregiver or hospital, or if they will be kicked off a homebirth program or kicked out of the birth centre for going past 42 weeks. So some natural ways to help try and speed up the process include sex, spicy meals, fresh dates, fresh pineapple juice, acupuncture, acupressure, reflexology, homeopathy and herbs. However if baby really isn’t ready, then trying to nudge it out prematurely may just result in frustration and a long and exhausting pre-labour, so surrender and acceptance are more of an ideal course of action.
“To avoid health issues which may necessitate a medical induction, I would ensure I have a healthy, balanced, organic, whole food diet as well as sufficient exercise during pregnancy, and see a nutritionist and herbalist or naturopath who is experienced in treating pregnancy if a high risk condition develops, so that natural measures can be undertaken to resolve it where possible.”
– Virginia Maddock
Virginia Maddock is wife to a kiwi, and mother to two home-born boys, 2 rescue cats and 3 chickens. She works as a doula, birth photographer, placenta encapsulator, herbalist and nutritionist for her business Natural Beginnings, which allows her to follow her passions in natural birth, health and parenting. On the side she also teaches men how to be great birth support partners at Beer + Bubs(childbirth education for dads at the pub), as well as volunteers as Coordinator for Homebirth Access Sydney, and as Assistant Editor for Birthings magazine.
“I recommend acupressure or acupuncture treatments as effective methods to help avoid induction. There are quite a few other methods (and old wives tails) that can be tried, such as nipple stimulation and sex to help encourage the body to release the hormones to begin labour.”
– Briony Goodsell
Briony Goodsell is an Ayurvedic Postpartum & Birth Doula and Mama of 3 little people, located in the beautiful Northern Illawarra Region. She has been working with pregnant women and new mothers for the past 8 years to help them feel supported during their transition into new motherhood. Briony runs Free Workshops for Pregnant Couples to help new Mamas avoid feeling overwhelmed and anxious in new motherhood. www.thenestingplace.com.au
“When my clients are heading towards their 41 week appointment, I like to check in with them to discuss their options and what to expect at that point. I listen to their concerns and provide them with information so that they can make the best decision for their family. Many of my clients choose the “wait and monitor” option. This means that the mother looks at her individual situation, weighs up the research and decides that she will wait until baby decides to be born, while being regularly monitored to keep an eye on things.
“Often at this time, I will be asked about “natural induction.” This is such a huge topic! Any form of induction, natural or otherwise, is still an intervention. There is a balance of a number of hormones that need to interact, plus the baby’s lungs being ready, before labour starts. Induction methods may influence one piece of this “jigsaw puzzle” of hormones, but not the whole picture. Yes, women are able to be induced by many different induction methods, and you will hear all sorts of personal experiences of what worked and what didn’t. What many people don’t realise, is that if the baby and the mother isn’t ready, the body may work against the induction. This often makes it a longer, more painful process. BUT, if the last piece of the puzzle just needs to fall into place – the induction can be a great success! Sometimes a Bishops Score can help, sometimes not.
“I always suggest that women try to avoid the “waiting mode” of the last few weeks of pregnancy. Make the most of the time and plan something wonderful each day!”
– Lynda Hay, Doula and Owner of Chrysalis Birth
I have been working with women and their families in the Far North Community for nearly 15 years. I am passionate about ensuring that women are fully supported during their journey with their little one. Over the last few years I have expanded Chrysalis Birth to include a number of other doulas to provide more support to our community. Together we provide comprehensive support to families throughout pregnancy, birth and baby. Not only do we provide birth support, we also specialise in Placenta Encapsulation; Stillbirth and Bereavement support; Birth into Being and postnatal services. For more information, feel free to contact Lynda at www.chrysalisbirth.com
You may also be interested in reading our earlier post about natural induction methods.
Whatever path your journey to motherhood takes, you will soon be with your baby. A doula can be there to help guide you and offer ideas and support. Enjoy your pregnancy, and your birth, and we would love to hear your story – you can email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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