Induction Advice

I know someone super pregnant who might have to be induced very soon, and I so badly wanna be my Know-It-All self and DM her this advice. But! That would be just as annoying as everyone was to me the day before my due date. Instead, I’ll put it here publicly so anyone in the future who might be getting induced can also access it.

First, think positive. I know being induced isn’t usually at the top of most people’s ideal birth scenario, but if it’s really happening- so many reasons it could be!- get on board with it. Instead of the rush of “Is this labor? I think so!!” and laboring around the house, calling your partner excitedly to get their booty home, scrambling to get your neighbor to watch the dog, you get to leisurely check your hospital bag, make the bed, and head to the hospital cool as a cucumber (well, relatively.) Every baby comes into this world differently; yours get to show up for an appointment!

My biggest piece of advice is to move your body. Once you’re admitted and the induction method is placed, you’ll likely have to lie prone for at least two hours. If this happens before bed- Yahtzee! I wish you the best possible sleep one can get while lying in a hospital knowing they’re hopefully meeting their baby the next day. There will be a limited window of time you’re off the monitors before you get checked and hooked up to Pitocin– this is the time for movement! I was lucky and got a full two hours to shower and eat breakfast before the doctor started her rounds. I didn’t take a seat until that doctor was at the foot of my bed, ready for my first check. I squatted in the shower, I did lunges across the room, I did high knees while eating toast. Help the induction method help you! If at all possible, don’t just lay there waiting for it to do all the work. Due to COVID, most of us can’t walk the hospital hallways, so make use of whatever space you have.

Finally, know that not all inductions end in the “cascade of interventions” you’ve likely read about if you’re trying to avoid a C-section. Sometimes the baby just needs a little nudge- even if you walk in zero percent dilated- and then it’s off to the races. Try to incorporate as much as possible about your original ideal birth scenario into your new induced one. Be open to pain management techniques you might not have originally wanted to try because, reader? Pitocin contractions are not messing around. I have nothing to compare them to, but Mamma Mia Pizzeria, they’re the real deal. No matter how your induction ends, there will be a baby at the end of it! No birthing person has ever been sent home with a baby to live inside of her forever because they just wouldn’t come out. By hook or crook, the time has come!

P.S. Hydrate. Even if you’re not getting induced. Pack a couple Gatorades.

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