Is induced labour always more painful?

Filed under: Your Pregnancy

My best friend was due to give birth to her first baby sometime last week. She's at that awful, bloated, oh-dear-god-please-get-this-baby-out-of-me stage that I suspect all pregnant women get in their very final days of gestation. Particularly when it's a blazing summer day. Particularly when your toes resemble large pink hot dogs. Particularly when you have no energy to do anything but lay splayed like an earthbound-seal, panting over a popsicle in front of a large green fan. Oh, those were the days.

Anyway, she's been diligent with her research and education during her pregnancy, she's taken Bradley method courses and is determined that, if at all possible, she'll have a drug free birth. And since she is perhaps the most determined, wickedly strong woman I have ever met in my entire life, I have no doubt that she'll do it. If, that is, she can do it on her own.

Since she's now overdue, Carrie's been subject to multiple ultrasounds (6 altogether), two this week alone. They are to determine if her placenta is deteriorating, whether all is OK in there. There is talk of induction, which she doesn't want. At all. She believes that medical induction leads to an increasingly painful labour and unnecessary risks to the baby. I probably helped freak her out on that -- my own labour was induced and my contractions were excruciating and less than a minute apart, almost from the beginning. In fact, so many women I spoke with had the same story -- they were a couple days overdue, their doctors ordered an induction, syntocinon was administered, labour failed to progress, and cesarians were ordered. It's exactly what happened to me, and if I could do it over again, I would have asked to not be induced. I believe, if my body could have done it on its own, I probably wouldn't have ended up frozen solid on a metal operating table during my labour.

But, I do know that there are several stories of women out there who have been induced and had good, normal labours -- possibly without pain medicine. Are you out there? I'd love to hear your stories, so I can reassure my friend that even if she is induced, it could turn out A-OK for the natural birth she craves.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.