We asked moms what questions they had about inducing labor and Lynn Erdman our CEO answered back.
- My girlfriends told me that having labor induced is the safest, and certainly most convenient, way to have my baby, but my nurse is saying that waiting for labor to start on its own is the safest. Which is true?
Many people don’t realize that undergoing labor induction for any reason is associated with immediate and long-term health risks. Induced labor can lead to excessive postpartum bleeding (or hemorrhage), which in turn, can increase the risk for blood transfusion, longer hospital stays, hysterectomy, more hospital re-admissions and, in the worst cases, death. Induction is also associated with an increased risk for cesarean birth. Cesareans increase a woman’s risk for infection, problems with how the placenta implants in future pregnancies, and life-long pain from abdominal adhesions.
AWHONN recommends against inducing labor at any time during pregnancy unless it is medically necessary, because a woman or her baby have problems. The medication used to induce labor is a manufactured hormone and a type of drug that bears an increased risk for causing serious patient harm when used in error. With the increasing use of labor induction and its resulting complications, it’s more apparent than ever that we must improve our understanding of the health consequences of administering artificial hormones, especially to vulnerable populations like pregnant women and infants. The short- and long-term health risks are just too serious to undergo labor induction when there is not a medical need. Continue reading