I’m sad to realize that labor & delivery units across the nation are probably very busy this week, with moms inducing labor before the holiday arrives. Whether this is because of the encouragement of their doctor or the choice of the mom, babies are being evicted early because of Thanksgiving. In mid-December there will be a similar rush, and then again the last week of the year as parents attempt to get their baby out in time to qualify for the tax credit. Wow.
The tragedy is that so often an induction is painted as a simple, easy way to encourage labor along. Parents may not be aware of the multitude of interventions – and the associated risks – that they choose with an induction. Of course there are times that inducing labor is medically indicated – but the holiday schedule is not one of those times!
First time moms inducing labor have a 42% chance of cesarean birth. Almost HALF of them will end up with surgery. Hardly convenient, going into the holiday season. Not to mention the struggle they will then face with any subsequent pregnancy, especially if they are hoping to not have cesareans for the rest of their births. As more hospitals begin to ban VBACs and as fewer care givers are willing to “labor sit” for moms having VBACs, women are having their options limited with every future birth. I imagine this is not something routinely discussed when an OB mentions to a mom that she can go ahead and induce to get the baby out before the holidays. Especially if a mom is unsure of her due dates, early eviction for a baby means a higher risk of respiratory distress, feeding issues, and possible NICU time. Talk about putting a damper on the holiday festivities.
Just let your baby keep baking! Unless there is a medically indicated reason, let your baby pick their own birthday. Relax, enjoy your holiday season, and let your baby come when baby is ready.