This week on The Mommy Labor Nurse Podcast I hosted a solo episode talking all about spontaneous labor versus inductions, and why spontaneous labor is typically preferred. I also touch on the timeline of medical inductions and what that entails.
You’ll learn about a few things you can do during your pregnancy to prep your body for labor, too! And then at the end of the episode I share the quick version of what I personally did with both of my boys to get myself into labor.
This episode was inspired by the launch of our brand new MINI course that’s launching on Friday 5/14/2021. It’s a ~90-minute video course all about the natural and planned induction for labor. Head here to learn more!
All right, mama. Without further ado, let’s chat about inductions!
Stats on induction and when people go into labor (3:47)
In this part of the episode I talk about the fact that just like every baby meets milestones at different times – every baby is ready to be born at a slightly different time, too!
Typically the most reliable sign that baby is ready to be born safely into this world is when you are full term and labor begins on it’s own. You’ll hear me talk about what the phrase “full term” means, and why REALLY we want babies to get to about 39 weeks of pregnancy – not just 37.
When you listen in, you’ll hear me unpack the details of a HUGE study that looked at over 6,000 births to see if elective inductions at 39 weeks are potentially safer for first-time moms and babies than allowing them to go past due.
I think you’ll be pretty surprised to hear the results! It involves a slightly higher rate of C-sections in moms who wait and an increased need for respiratory support for newborns! But this doesn’t mean everyone should run to get an elective induction. I go into ALL the details in the episode.
What to expect from a medical induction as a first time mom (13:30)
Next, you’ll hear me talk about the medical induction of labor and what that looks like as a first-time mom! Often, first-time moms that come in for inductions have a cervix that’s not exactly ready or prepped for labor. This basically means your cervix is high, thick, and closed!
Here’s a bit of what I say during the episode,
So if you are being induced and your cervix is not really prepped very much, it’s not open, it’s not thin, it’s not soft, then we’re gonna have to get it a little bit open and a little bit soft and a little bit thinner before we can start Pitocin – which is the main medication that they use typically use to get you into labor.
This usually takes a while, sometimes a few hours, but sometimes 12-14 hours! We do this with a medication inserted into your vagina or we use something called a Foley bulb to open your cervix a bit. Then once we have an indication that prepping is working, we will start you on the Pitocin and wait for active labor to begin!
Listen in for all the details on this timeline, and more specifics about that cervix prep!
But YOU can prep your cervix at home (23:02)
When you tune in, you’ll hear me talk about why prepping your cervix for labor will benefit you for two reasons. One, it can SERIOUSLY encourage spontaneous labor and help you avoid a planned induction altogether. But also because it can make your medical induction a little easier.
Here’s a quote from the episode,
If you’re a first-time mom, and you come in with a cervix that is three centimeters [dilated], is thin, you know, 80%, thinned or 90%, thinned, and you know, your baby is nice and low and engaged. Versus if you come in with a closed, thick, and high cervix, your stay is typically going to be much shorter. [Basically], you’re going to need a lot less Pitocin. And we’re probably not going to need any of those prepping agents!
When you tune in you’ll hear me talk about how there are PLENTY of people that have successful inductions even when their cervix is high, thick and closed, but that things can be smoother if your cervix is a little more “ready”. And that’s exactly why I want to encourage and educate you about ways to prep your body at home.
A few methods to help get your cervix ready (27:47)
In the episode, you’ll hear me share details on a few different methods to help prep your cervix! These include:
- Curb walking
- Figure 8s on a yoga ball
- Lunges and squats
- Eating dates
- Applying primrose oil
- Seeing a reflexologist
The thing is, there is SO much more where this comes from, and so much more to learn about these particular methods. Birth It Up: The Natural Series and Birth It Up: The Epidural Series has detailed information on over 20 different methods.
We’ve broken them up into movements/positions to prep your body and encourage spontaneous labor, food and drinks that can induce labor, and specialists that can help induce labor.
But the course doesn’t stop there. We built it to have two thorough and separate parts: one to help you go into labor naturally, and one that takes a deep dive into PLANNED inductions, too. This way you’ll be ready if that does wind up being what’s safest!
In the mean time, here are some other MLN resources you can check out:
Wrapping up (32:15)
At the end of the episode, you’ll hear me share the timeline of exactly what I did before BOTH of my labors to get contractions going. I went into labor spontaneously a few days after my due date both times, and I can’t help but wonder if all my efforts are what did it!
How did you get labor going, mama? Or if you’re currently pregnant, what are you doing NOW to help prep your cervix for labor? Did you learn something new from this episode? We’d love to hear from you!
Oh! And don’t forget to subscribe to the Podcast and leave a review! Hearing what you guys are loving and where I can improve means SO much to me.