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Hold on Baby Mamas: Push is On to Reduce Birth Inductions

Hold on Baby Mamas: Push is On to Reduce Birth Inductions

By the time the ninth month rolls around, most pregnant women are counting the minutes to the due date.

The result:
according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, there has been a steady rise in so-called elective birth inductions.

Turns out twenty-five percent of births now are scheduled through elective inductions, compared to less than ten percent in the 1990s, the Journal reports.

But now experts are discovering that these accelerated births could have harmful short- and long-term health risks, including vision and hearing problems, as well as "respiratory distress, seizures and bloodstream infections." And, the Journal reports, they say that if a pregnancy is progressing smoothly, the baby should not be induced before 39 weeks.


Circle of Moms community members have been weighing in on the issue in the Debating Mums community.

Katherine C. believes that women who push their doctors for early deliveries after the 37th week “are creating a nation of babies with higher rates of respiratory problems, pulmonary hypertension, and admissions to neonatal intensive care units than those born at 39 weeks or later.”

“I wanted my daughter out a heck of a lot sooner than it happened, but I gave up that choice when I decided to get pregnant,” she says. ”I was well aware that I was born 10 days late, my brother five days late. Women in my family miss their due dates. It's healthy and normal, and what I wanted most was a healthy and normal baby. In the end, it took an extra week of baking in my oven to get her there. Inductions aren't about you, Mom. They're about the baby, and if you can't see that, it looks like the government has to make you grow up.”

Melissa C. says she doesn’t understand the rush to induce and has no sympathy for pregnant women who say they are tired of being pregnant.

“There are a couple friends around me that are pregnant as well and just about due,” says Melissa. “Two already have a child that is about three-to-four-years-old. Yet all I hear from them is ‘I hope they'll induce me early.’ They are so set on having the child earlier than needed that they've gone to the hospital, supposedly in labor, 4 to 6 times already.”

Melissa adds: “It annoys me that they're so caught up in themselves and with being done with the pregnancy that they're not concerned about their soon-to-be child's welfare. I believe as long the mother is healthy and the baby is healthy that the baby needs to stay in there as long it sees fit.”

The Wall Street Journal claims that the primary reason moms-to-be and their docs want to tinker with nature is convenience. The earlier dates fit better into the schedules of the obstetrician, pregnant mom, or family.

Public health officials, safety advocates, private insurers, and employer groups are stepping up pressure to sharply reduce early term deliveries, according to the article. The practice drives up costs of neonatal intensive care and leads to a higher rate of caesarean sections. Reducing the number of these early deliveries to 1.7 percent could save close to $1 billion annually. So great is the potential upside that some hospitals are creating new policies to prohibit doctors from scheduling deliveries before 39 weeks if there is not a valid medical reason.

No matter what the medical community decides, babies often have their own timing, says Rebekah G. As she puts it: “Unless there is a medical explanation for an induction, I’d try to completely avoid it. Healthy babies will come when they are ready. Hang in there and let your body do what it was designed to do."

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

Join The Conversation
FayeGalliart FayeGalliart 5 years
While I was not induced for either of my kids, I was late with both of them. Depending on which date you want to believe, I was either 10 days (doc) or 6 days (mine) with my daughter. If she had not been born on Wed, we were going to talk of inducation at the Fri appointment. With my son, I was 12 days late and on the inducation list for 6 am Mon, he decided at 9 pm on Sun night he was done and ready to show his face. He wanted nothing to do with that induction! But then again neigher did I.
AnnaVillani AnnaVillani 5 years
I know how very badly it sucks to be overdue. I was induced 11 days after my due date. My doctor was concerned that because my son grew very very slowly in the beginning and We had a hard time pin pointing a conception time frame that if she induced he'd turn out to be a lot younger than she suspected. The opposite was true. I was a lot further along than we'd guessed, to the point where my son's umbilical cord was practically disintegrating. But I chose to do what was best for my son. That's all a mother can do. I weighed my options, and suffered through it. I can see the appeal of choosing when your baby is born, and ending early a particularly difficult pregnancy, but the risks seem too great to me.
TanyaRedfield TanyaRedfield 5 years
My daughter-in-law had their first baby in December... she was due right around the holidays. I was shocked when in November she said her Dr. asked her if she wanted to set a date to have the baby! She did NOT! She hoped to go into labor naturally. As it happened her amniotic fluid became very low and they ended up inducing her anyway. But she and I were both disappointed that the Dr. would even suggest such a thing!
JulieA52539 JulieA52539 5 years
The docs thought they were inducing me with my first due to pre-e, but when they broke my waters they saw I was already 8cm dilated and my eldest came out like 5 contractions later. Number 2 was induced at 39 weeks due to the history of pre-e and low amniotic fluid. I suspect they might try to do the same with number 3 but I'm hoping it will go as smoothly as number 2- one application of gel was enough to get the ball rolling, she was born about 12 hours later. Still, I would have liked to have gone into labour naturally...
JaniceColeman55042 JaniceColeman55042 5 years
Induction should only be a choice if the risk of continued pregnancy is higher than the risks of induction. Induction increases the chances for fetal distress, failure to progress and the need for instrument assisted deliveries, and c-sections. These are delivery complications that should be avoided. Obviously, if there is a medical issue that can only be resolved through delivery then an induction or planned cesarrian must be performed. However, almost every woman I know has had an induction scheduled for the day after they are due "just in case." or because they are "miserable." Well most woman are miserable at the end, but the baby's health should come first! Additionally new studies show their is a lo of important brain development in those last few weeks that is best done while in-vitro. Induction is not good for babies and mothers and should only be done if medically necessary. And as for being late - it isnt bad unless the baby is huge or when your fluids start dropping.
JacquiBance JacquiBance 5 years
i've had three babies all of which were much to my dismay induced the first a week and half the second three weeks i got special permission and went in every day to get my waters measured I also tried everything to make him come out everything from accupucture to long walks the lot but he wasn't coming out i finally surrended and he was induced the third just rencently was again induced after a week the midwife told some people just can't have the baby naturally. I was pretty upset not only is it very painful going from a normal state to extreme pain in one second it feels like the baby hasn't come when they are ready if you can wait i would say it's the best because your body and the baby are choosing not the doctor
MelanieSmith23842 MelanieSmith23842 6 years
I've had 4 babies. 3 of them I went in to labour on my own either on my due date or just after. My 4 th baby sadly stopped growing after a long and stressful pregnancy, and nearly loosing her 3times. I was induced 2 weeks early and had her very quickly. I don't ever want 2 b induced again. The pain is so much greater and I didn't think that was possible. We all do our best for our children and i have nothing against any mum who induces electively. I wouldn't thats all. :)
NyssaRenner NyssaRenner 6 years
I've had 5 babies, and 2 were induced. The first because my water broke with no progression, and number 5 was elective because we live far from family. I was past my due date, and my mother-in-law was here to watch our 4 other children. She was leaving that night, so I was hoping I would have went into labor on my own. My first 3 came close to my due dates, and each time we had family here to watch the other children. My 4th missed his due date, so when my MIL had come down that time (close to my due date) she had to leave before I went into labor. We had to leave the kids with a friend that had said they would watch the three oldest if need be, but I never felt comfortable knowing that I might've had to call them in the middle of the night. I know I would never do it again if we have a 6th baby. I was reluctant to do the induction because I knew the risk of c-section is higher, and especially for me because this was my 4th VBAC, so the risks were even higher. I do believe birth is a natural process, and it doesn't need to be helped along. I am so glad everything went smoothly. Hopefully, if we do have another, we will be back closer to family, and I won't feel torn to have another induction.
Rebecca2681135 Rebecca2681135 6 years
Anyone interested in this issue, watch the movie "Pregnant in America" and :The Business of Being Born". Both movies talk about the big convenience of labor and birth, and that most women who are induced usually end up under the knife- having a c- section. Why can't docs just leave nature the way it's supposed to be? Women have been having babies for thousands of years successfully, why do we now feel the need to help? Why now are our mothers and babies at such a hig risk that we agree to ruin the birth experience with medical procedures?
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