Preparing for Unplanned Induction
The reason you are asking this question is probably because you have been advised to have an induction.
Induction rates have risen fairly dramatically in the last two years and the reason for that is the release of a published government paper minimising stillbirth.
So of course, that is the right thing. We all want safe mums and safe babies.
However, what that does mean is that obstetricians are totally minimising risk, so if your baby is little too big, or a little too small, they are encouraging inductions to tick the box of ‘doing something to minimise risk’. Is this right? If there is a real risk, yes, but it does seem to have got a little out of hand, we can’t just induce everyone!
But if we are going to induce more frequently what support is being given to those mums and dads, going through these difficult births?
No extra support.
And that is what makes me sad.
No Emotional Preparation for Induction
This morning I saw a lovely HypnoBirthing client. She had been told by an obstetrician that her baby was too big at 38 weeks (7lb 10oz – doesn’t really seem that big?) and is trying to prepare for her induction tomorrow. But she realised she didn’t know how, which is why she came to see me.
When she was called into the consultation room after her scan, she walked through on her own simply thinking she would be getting her photo, but instead she was sat down and told her baby was dangerously big and if she didn’t induce she was putting both their lives in danger.
The consultant in question didn’t think this might have come as a shock and prepare her, he didn’t even call her husband in to be with her, he just told her to the point in a fairly brutal manner. He then didn’t really explain the procedure, what it would mean, or what support she could expect, he just said see you next week and walked out. Here is a mum expecting a normal HypnoBirth who has now had a very different birth pathway presented, without any real care to what this might mean to her. That is what makes me cross!
A New Birth Story
Women like her come to see people like me, so we can talk through the process and start reframing her thoughts on her birth story. Gently being told what to expect, and what to do in different scenarios, depending on how well it works.
We talked this through together, then we began the work to reframe her mind so she would feel less fear on the day itself, and still feel confident as she walked into her birthing day.
We looked at alternatives, in a realistic manner, so she felt self-assured in her decisions and choices.
Then we had some self-hypnosis time, rehearsing how she may feel on the day, and how she would respond. We anchored some positive visitations and practised birth breathing under epidural, just in case.
We practised feelings of self-care and self-empowerment, feelings of calm confidence and focused on the success scene! Walking back into her own home with partner and baby, safe, happy, loved, complete.
Then I gave her a natural induction massage, focusing on upping levels of oxytocin and telling her baby we were all ready to meet him. And, letting him know he was ready to meet us too.
After 90 minutes she walked out happy, ready, prepared, and excited by her induction, rather than fearful of it.
Positive Mental Attitude Towards Inductions
Now I know it’s the NHS and all, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just do a little more to help birthing women walk into inductions with a better frame of mind. Walking into any birthing situation feeling happier and more prepared means mum is much more likely to experience a more rewarding birth, leading to less chance of post-Natal depression, whatever that birth story looks like.
Of course, I am very happy to see you for induction preparation, but I certainly hope that one day medicine recognises the importance of leading women towards kinder births, and makes preparation a priority.