With the statistics of labor inductions quickly approaching 40%, we may find that an ever higher percentage of mothers are deciding to induce their labors to avoid Christmas, Hanukah or the New Year. While being at home for the holiday season is certainly better than spending a few days in the hospital, there are some very good reasons to consider waiting for your baby to come on its own:
Labor and Delivery Floors will be Crowded.
You are not alone! Remember that a good portion of other moms are also planning to induce their labors to avoid the holidays. This will translate to very busy and crowded surroundings in hospitals. Not only will you be more likely to encounter under-staffed labor and delivery floors, but supplies of linens, pillows, drinks for partners and the like will be even more scarce.
Inductions lead to Higher Cesarean Rates.
Statistically you have a higher chance of a cesarean anytime you are induced as opposed to going into spontaneous labor. Having a cesarean will make your recovery longer and potentially more painful.
Inductions are More Painful.
Because your body does not produce its own supply of labor hormones, it does not block the pain of contractions as well as if your body goes into labor by itself. This can make the goal of an unmedicated labor even harder and may make some mothers choose an epidural too early. Research shows that mothers who get an epidural in early labor will have a higher chance of a cesarean as well.
Labor Inductions Restrict Movement.
Since pitocin can affect your baby, inductions require that your baby is monitored continuously. Being continuously monitored often means that your movement is restricted. It is possible that most of your labor will be spent in the hospital bed unless your place of birth has a portable/telemetry monitor.
Labor can Feel Longer.
Even if pitocin eventually makes your labor more productive by strengthening contractions, you will be at the hospital well before your first contraction. This may “feel” longer to parents rather than staying at home until active labor. Waiting for labor to begin on its own and arriving at the hospital in active labor will help your perception of labor to be shorter, rather than sitting in the hospital bed for many hours at a time.
Even though labor inductions, at first glance, can seem like a convenient way to avoid giving birth on a holiday, there are some serious downsides. Be sure to review all of your options with your care provider and factor in everything before you decide to induce your labor apart from a medical reason.