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Inducing Labor Leads to More C-Sections

I can’t say I was completely surprised when Yahoo! Health posted an article this past week suggesting that inducing labor leads to c-sections in many cases. In fact 40% of all labor inductions will end in a cesarean section because the baby and body is simply not ready to birth that baby, no matter how much medical intervention, medication, or procedures to help it along.

In the article, it details

“Dr. J. Christopher Glantz at the University of Rochester School of Medicine found that inducing labor introduces a risk of 1 to 2 cesareans per 25 inductions that might have been avoided by waiting for spontaneous labor to begin.

While this risk to individual women is not particularly large, Glantz told Reuters Health that 1 to 2 cesareans per 25 inductions can quickly add up to tens of thousands of unnecessary cesareans over the course of millions of inductions.”

While 1-2 c-sections out of 25 may not be a large number, those are c-sections that could have been prevented, in some cases being unnecessary. Leading to subsequent unnecessary surgeries as well as a laundry list of complications.

But what is even more concerning is the number of women that are being induced today. Not for medical reasons, but for reasons of convenience, which are leading to further complications in their delivery, and the also subjecting their unborn to unnecessary risks. It is estimated that one out of every 3 women has their labor induced, which is an increase of over 15% in the last 10 years alone. If you go back 20 years, we are looking at a induction rate of less than 20%.

Many women, if not all, are completely miserable at the end of pregnancy, it isn’t fun!  I have been there twice, one child which I opted for an induction. I was lead to believe that it was the best thing for myself, and for my baby, though I had not made it to my due date yet, but with the complicated pregnancy I had I was too worried to take anymore risks. The problem is, I didn’t know all the risks associated with the induction itself. My induction ended in the operating room with a cesarean section.

The reality of the situation is, more than half of these inductions are being estimated to be NOT medically necessary, so why take the risk?

Risks of Labor Induction :

  • More painful contractions (Pitocin induced contractions are longer, and stronger than natural labor contractions)
  • Fetal distress
  • Failed Induction
  • Cesarean Section
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Backaches
  • Poor Fetal positioning
  • Longer Labor
  • Risk of NICU admission for the baby
  • Higher risk of vacuum or forcep use
  • Longer & Stronger Contractions (which can lead to a compressing of the oxygen & blood supply to the baby)
  • Higher risk for postpartum hemorrhage
  • Higher risk of infection
  • Uterine Rupture
  • Placental Abruption

These are all big risks, and while some may not be very common, some can be seriously dangerous. Most do not take these risks into consideration, or even know many of them actually exist.

Risks of a Cesarean Section :

  • Infection
  • Increased Blood Loss
  • Decrease in Bowel Function
  • Respiratory Complications in infants
  • Respiratory Complications in mom (General anesthesia can sometimes lead to pneumonia)
  • Longer Hospital Stay
  • Longer Recovery Time
  • Increased risk of Placental problems in future pregnancies
  • Increased infertility in the future
  • Need for other surgeries such as a hysterectomy or bladder repair surgery
  • Uterine Rupture in future pregnancies

So moms, why take the risk instead of waiting another week?
We all may be miserable, but you could save yourself and your baby from a lot of risks!

Categories: General
Danielle Elwood

4 Responses

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Hi, thank you for your good post. I wrote a guide called the worry free c-section that I wrote with the intention of helping moms, who need a c-section, get through it. However, it’s been amazing to me how many women choose to have a c-section that don’t medically need one and how many women choose to be induced when there is no medical need.

    C-sections are often necessary and inductions are sometimes necessary but choosing these with no medical reason needs to be thought about carefully.

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