Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Waiting patiently for grandchild no 8.....

The art of patience I think is disappearing, we are always in a rush for things to happen or to be done, we want everything yesterday...sadly this is a reflection of the times.

Pregnancy traditionally is anywhere from 37 - 42 weeks, which is nine months and one week. More than 90% of babies do not arrive by the predicted date. So it is not unusual for a mother not to go into spontaneous labour just because its her due date. Technically you are not overdue until 42 weeks, but alas you see women are being offered inductions of labour (IOL) from 37 weeks.

Some mums battle with health professionals consistently about this issue..why is it that once you get to about 38/39 weeks you are offered and IOL, it seems like we are trying to change the boundaries of normal gestation times: Fair enough if there is a medical reason for an induction: as in the fetus (baby) is at risk or the mother, but not because you look uncomfortable or because we can.... IOL can lead to a cascade of intervention and we all know where that ends up. We need to let nature take its course, it stands to reason if you have reached 40-42 weeks and you have not gone into labour your body is clearly not ready....and you have to wonder have we got the dates right? This can already be disheartening for the mother who is eagerly awaiting her new arrival and can sometimes be annoying after so much of anticipation and excitement and pressure from family and friends.

Sadly it is not just health professionals that put pressure on mums, it is society that is friends, family, acquaintances, all saying when is this baby coming.... why don't you just get induced and have it over and done seems everyone is in a hurry....sometimes too this is born out of fear, fear that something may go wrong and we as midwives need to be constantly reassuring about the normal processes of birth.

Then off course comes the advice about how to be induced naturally...and believe me everyone has a story about this one.... (some women have tried it all and none of it worked, like wise some women have tried one or two and it has never know your luck until you try)
Some of the traditional ways are:
Walking, housework, spicy food (curry) raspberry leaf tea, nipple stimulation and if you are really game clitoral stimulation; intercourse (love making) which releases the hormone Oxytocin which is called the love hormone... this then gets the contractions started; essential oils such as lavender and clary sage; membrane sweep; acupressure and most importantly be calm and think positively..... but like anything it is practice that makes perfect.... doing it just once or twice is not going to make it happen... it is something that you are going to consistently do over a few days or so...ensuring that everyone is safe and you can feel the fetus moving...

Formal Induction of labour: starts with prostin gel or Foley Catheter; artificial rupture of membranes, Syntocinon drip.....epidural? however this needs to be a blog all on its own....

We are waiting for contractions to begin....passing of a mucous plug, waters breaking.... all signs of the beginning.....the deadline is looming...

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