Empowered Birth Week I promised a post on my thoughts on induction. I followed up with 10 Ways to Avoid an Induction, one of my favorite posts from recent months. I chose the informational and helpful route regarding inductions, rather than the state my opinions and risk pissing people off route. And, I chose to assume that if you read my blog, you are not jumping on the "yay, my doctor wants to induce" bandwagon. I knew this assumption was not correct. After all, this is the good old USA with our almost 35% cesarean rate and our pathetic standing in maternal and neonatal outcomes.
So, you would think I would be happy with the latest spate of hospitals declaring a ban on elective inductions prior to 39 weeks. Over the past few weeks, I've read numerous newspaper articles (love that good birth junkie Facebook news feed!) about how early elective inductions are not good for mama or baby. Besides the fact that I've yet to read an article recognizing the OB/GYN's role in pushing for early inductions, I have a major problem with this new trend.
Why should we applaud these hospitals for, according to the articles I read, telling mothers they need to wait until 39 to have their babies? Surely I'm not alone in believing an elective induction prior to 39 weeks is ethically wrong of an OB. Ethically. Wrong. Regardless of hospital protocol, no baby should be electively induced prior to 39 weeks. It's that easy.
And, truth be told, I think elective inductions should be banned entirely. Yes. Elective inductions should be banned. Who are you to force a baby to be born earlier than he or she is ready? Because you are tired of being pregnant. Wah. Because you only get 6 weeks of maternity leave. Wah. Because you want to beat the end of the year for the tax deduction. Wah.
Because your doctor suggested it? What is his motivation? Why does he want your baby to come earlier than he or she is ready? Seriously. I want to know why all these doctors are so eager to electively induce these babies.
So yeah. I am totally unimpressed with the new trend of banning early elective inductions. Yes, I get it is a step in the right direction to improve birth outcomes but I think our unborn babies need better advocates than simply telling mamas and their doctors to just wait it out until 39 weeks and then it will be just fine to electively induce.
What is so wrong with putting our babies first?
*No need to tell me how your baby was induced and everything was just fine. Most babies are induced and most babies are fine. I get it. But, you are kidding yourself if you don't believe that every single day in the womb is developmentally important.*
Henci Goer's article on elective induction. Unlike me, she is impeccably footnoted and indexed.