5 Things You Need To Know About Your Induction

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Image via Lauren Brusie/ j&j brusie photography

When my doctor told me that I needed to have an induction with my fourth child, I admit that I was fully unprepared.

Sure, I knew what an induction would entail and yes, I had seen many mothers go through them just fine, but it's a different feeling, knowing you'll be going through it yourself. And along those lines, I will say it's a completely different experience going through an induction myself rather than just taking care of patients who are being induced.

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In fact, having my own induction opened my eyes to a few things that I think every woman who is going to be induced should be aware of, like …

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Image via Flickr/ Daniel Lobo

The reason for your induction

Yes, it sounds rather obvious, but make sure you know with 100% certainty that you are being induced for a valid medical reason. I can't tell you how many women I have taken care of as an OB nurse, that simply had no idea why they were being induced–and sadly, many times the “reason” turned out to be for the doctor's convenience and schedule. Don't be afraid to ask if your induction is really and truly medically necessary.

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Image via Flickr/ Janine

The importance of a hearty breakfast

Most of the time, inductions are hard and lengthy procedures–and unfortunately, you aren't allowed to eat because of the increased risks that an induction can bring. So, a hearty breakfast is kind of a must.

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Image via Flickr/ Peter Dutton

It may be a long wait

Many patients that I saw had no idea that an induction could be a very lengthy process, especially for first-time mothers. I've seen inductions take two or three days, and for the most part, induced patients are not allowed to eat. Even when I went in for my induction for my fourth child, I fully expected to rock a baby out in a few hours–only to have it take fifteen. Inductions are unpredictable and can take a long time to get rolling, so be prepared to wait it out, if necessary.

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Image via Flickr/ Ishikawa Ken

Your man's meal plan

It may sound incredibly silly, but I found that my husband had the hardest time leaving our room or eating in front of me. Honestly, nothing was happening with my labor yet and he still felt too guilty to leave my side or eat when I couldn't. So take a few minutes before you go into the hospital to talk over your man's meal strategy–encourage him to eat, even if he grabs a quick bite in the cafeteria, because come pushing time, the last thing you both need is him to have low blood sugar!

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Image via Flickr/ Ryan Christie

Stress is not helpful

I may have been the world's worst patient for my induction, simply because I was so nervous and so stressed about the fact that it was taking so long. And the reason it probably took so long? Because I was so nervous and so stressed! But in all seriousness, anxiety works against your body in an induction, not only because of the hormones that your body will release, but also because of muscle tension. So if at all possible, don't do as I did and stress out. Do your homework, be mentally prepared, and know that if your induction is medically necessary, you are doing the right thing for you and your baby.

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5 Things You Need To Know About Your Induction

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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3 comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    My 5/1/2-year-old son was born on 8/10/12 at 3:30pm. I had to be induced for the reason that he only weighed 5lbs 7oz at 39 weeks. Once he was delivered, my doctor confirmed that my son had a huge knot in his umbilical cord and that’s why he only weighed 5lbs 7oz. But now looking at him, you wouldn’t know he was born only weighing 5lbs 7oz.

  2. Jaquelenne says:

    So fun fact – I actually prefer to be induced based on schedule than medical necessity. First, it means that there’s no complications. Second, it means I can tell my job exactly when I will be leaving. I can tell them “I will be taking this week off for vacation to prepare, then my induction is (date) and I will be out (amt of weeks).” It also means I get to avoid the struggle of going past my due date or maybe not realizing I’m in labor. Of course, if labor happens naturally beforehand then so be it.

    I arrived at 7 am for my induction, induction started around 8 am, was able to get cytotec instead of pitocin so my contractions were less painful, got a heplock, had my waters ruptured, used the birth ball and tub and walked, eventually got an epidural, and had my baby girl at 8:02 pm. I pushed for about 20 minutes…maybe 30. I didn’t even know I was pushing for real. I legit though we were still doing practice pushes until they told me baby was progressing well. The doctor wasn’t even in there yet – she basically caught baby and stitched up my two tiny tears.

  3. andrea says:

    Just putting it out there for anyone who’s scared: my induction was pretty quick. I was very nervous and upset cuz I wasn’t expecting to get induced, and this was my first baby (whom I wasn’t supposed to be able to have): at my routine prenatal appointment they decided I had full blown pre-eclampsia and that baby needed to be born now, 3 wks before the expected due date. During a snowstorm, of course (18″ !) The gave me a dissolving pill, 1/4 at 6 pm, another 1/4 at 10 pm and at midnight I was dilated enough to have an epidural, after that procedure, I went to sleep until about 5 am, and baby was delivered at 6 am. Dr’s said they appreciated my slam-bam-thank-you-ma’am approach. Believe me I had nothing to do with it

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