Inducing Labor Could Be Illegal Soon


delivery roomHold on to your bellies, pregnant ladies. If plans to cut out non-medically necessary inductions make their way out of the Minnesota Department of Human Services and into the lawbooks, you could be stuck with that belly for a lot longer no matter where you live.

Folks on both sides of what would be the nation's first official state policy on timing induced labor say it could set the tone for debates on elective inductions across the nation.

Now if only the naysayers would sit down, shut up, and listen to the issues at the heart of the matter.

This isn't about taking away a woman's rights over her own body.

It's about saving lives. New studies have found 37 weeks pregnant, long considered full term or the safe date for delivery, has been woefully miscalculated. Women who breathe easy that they made it there, only to push their doctor into an early delivery, are creating a nation of babies with higher rates of respiratory problems, pulmonary hypertension, and admissions to neonatal intensive care units than those born at 39 weeks or later.

It isn't just the mothers; Minnesota is also decrying doctors who tell their patients to come in a little early so they can sneak out for a vacation without Mom crying foul. Together, the two groups have caused the induction rate to triple in the past 20 years in this country.

I'm on that list too. My daughter had to be induced at eight days past my due date -- I was 41 weeks along. But here's the major difference: not only was I "past due," but her heart rate had begun to drop, and the doctor said it could go either way. He saw a plausible medical reason to put a Pitocin drip in my veins, and 13 hours later I had a healthy baby girl.

It worked. He was right, and that's made me an advocate for inductions ... when they're doctor ordered.

That's all Minnesota -- and very possibly Hawaii, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Florida (where debates or ongoing, although no law is drafted) -- are looking for. They're not saying "no inductions." They're saying "no inductions ordered by Dr. Google."

Women have become empowered to make decisions about their pregnancy, giving us alternatives our mothers never had. We won't be strapped to beds, knocked out, have our husbands sent out of the room while we suffer alone. This sense of self is the best thing that's happened to pregnancy since they came up with "safe" heartburn meds for women toting hairy babies (raises hand).

But doing some research still doesn't make us experts in the field. We can't ramrod through our own agendas and to hell with the results. Women can be advocates for their own healthcare and their own choices without ignoring medical opinion. If one doctor disagrees with you, and you think he or she is flat out wrong, you waddle your pregnant hiney to another one for a second opinion.

If that second doctor still agrees with you, then you need to evaluate why you're calling for this early induction. Are you just tired of being pregnant? Did a random moms' group on the Internet convince you that it's OK to go early because their kids are breathing just fine?

I wanted my daughter out a heck of a lot sooner than it happened, but I gave up that choice when I decided to get pregnant. I was well aware that I was born 10 days late, my brother five days late. Women in my family miss their due dates. It's healthy and normal, and what I wanted most was a healthy and normal baby.

In the end, it took an extra week of baking in my oven to get her there.

Inductions aren't about you, Mom. They're about the baby, and if you can't see that, it looks like the government has to make you grow up.


Image via Max Hanley/Flickr

is it safe, labor, labor & delivery


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Kimberly Virga

I agree; I think inductions two-three weeks early for no medical reason are ridiculous. But I can't lie, laws like this scare me; I am having a planned C-section in three weeks because my first son was born via emergency section at 41.5 weeks pregnant (his heart rate plummeted, went into distress, I stopped dilating, and lo and behold, he was a ten pounder trying to come out of my previously 90 lb frame). These laws scare me because what's next, no C-section allowed for any reason for the mom who needs it due to the way her first birth went, like me? Better yet, no epidurals for those on Medicaid, like one senator tried to get away with a few months ago? We better check ourselves, because yes, we have come a long way in determing and understanding and being part of the birth process of our baby, but there are those who will still try to take advantage

nonmember avatar Megan

I'd prefer to be knocked out!

Stefa... Stefanie83

It isn't just women pushing for inductions.  In some cases, it's the doctor trying to make his/her life a little less chaotic by scheduling a birth.  I would be so happy to see inductions drop to an appropriate level.

lovin... lovinangels

I had an "induction" (read-they broke my water) after my body attempting for FIVE weeks to evict the baby. I had to push it...Contractions for FIVE SOLID WEEKS and I had to say, enough is 39 weeks. Of course, my due date was off.

And my water was stained with meconium...the doctor said it was a good thing I'd pushed the point. Of course, my case was rare, and I was in a LOT of pain, unable to function. It was not a matter of being tired of being pregnant, or a bit on the miserable side.

Just wanted to add a bit to the other side of the coin.

RanaA... RanaAurora

Love this. Unless your induction is medically necessary, DON'T DO IT. It only hurts you AND your baby. They should never, EVER be done before 41-42 weeks either if it can be at all helped.

Yes, there are situations where it's good to get a baby out early, but not many. The March of Dimes is especially behind this push, and their goal is to protect the lives of babies. If moms are risking it constantly for convenience, and doctors for whatever misguided idiocies, we NEED laws in place.

peanu... peanuts2804

Im always over my due date also I only needed a bit of Pitocin at 42 weeks because I wasn't contracting after my water already been broke.I'm now running into an issue with my third pregnancy my husband is leaving in 3 weeks for his second deployment this is our first child together and he will be pushed to the top to get leave so he can be here for the birth in August.I'm so scared that he wont make it so we are thinking on inducing a week early just in case. I just don't know the ethical part about it and if its safe for the baby

Poste... PosterOfAGirl

Applause!!! Great read! I hope this law passes!

Xakana Xakana

I can't 'like' this enough!

nonmember avatar Allboys

Actually this IS about taking women's rights to their own bodies away. First of all women can't order an induction, doctors do. No matter how much you complain in the latter weeks of your pregnancy you can't order your own induction. So if the DOCTOR doesn't feel it's a great harm to the baby why are YOU talking to mothers as if they are children. You do not know the reasons a women would ask for an induction and more times than not doctors are the ones pushing induction weeks before the due dates using a myriad of reasons to back up why they feel it would be safest for the mother. Hospitals also have policies about inductions. They don't just induce women for no reason. Your doctor actually has to state the reason for induction and it's supposed to be medically indicated. If your DOCTOR isn't following hospital protocol he is to blame. This law isn't aimed at out of control pregnant women.

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