Written by Doula: Kelly Nichols

According to a 2019 study, approximately 1 in 4 women in the United States will be induced to begin labor. The number may be even higher for first time moms.  As a mother who has undergone an induction as well as a doula who has attended many of them, I want to offer some tips on how to best prepare for an induction. 

If avoiding an induction unless necessary is important to you, you need to discuss induction rates and reasons with your provider. Make sure you are on the same page when it comes to reasons to induce. On the flip side, if you know you will want to be induced early for any reason, discuss that with your provider as well. It is important that you are able to trust your provider to deliver the level of care you are expecting. 

If for whatever reason an induction is the route your birth takes:

  1. Don’t panic! This may be planned, or it may be a huge change in what you were anticipating. Take some time to relax and put yourself in a good mental space. Listen to some affirmations or play some calming music. 
  2. Sleep. Inductions can be marathons. It is common for them to last 2-3 days. It can be hard to rest well in the hospital and birth is hard work. 
  3. Eat. Once the induction process begins, you will likely be limited to a liquid diet. Be sure to have a protein-based meal to give you the energy you need to get through your labor. 
  4. Know the induction process. Ask questions. Inductions can look different depending on the provider and patient involved. Ask what induction agents will be used. Ask what a typical induction looks like for your provider. Ask what percentage of inductions end in cesareans verses vaginal births. Knowing what to expect during the process can help you to enter your induction confidently. 
  5. Get some body work done. Chiropractic care, acupuncture, Spinning Babies™, and massage can all help move your baby into a position that will aid in the ease of labor. 
  6. Hire a doula. A doula can help you manage the ups and downs (as well as the wires and limitations) that come with being induced. 

Often inductions are not absolute emergencies and are planned for some time in the near future. Use the time you have to prepare yourself mentally and physically to meet your sweet babe! 

#induction #interventions #childbirtheducation #copingtechniques #labor support #doulasupport

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