Friday, July 5, 2013

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Warns Against Inductions

I think it's important that birth professionals; whether OBs, midwives, doulas or childbirth educators keep an open mind. This, I realize, is hard because it's very human to form ideas, thoughts, or convictions, but when it comes to birth it's really up to the mother to decide what she feels is best for her.

Keeping that in mind, I'm aware that sometimes a mother will have ideas about birth that may not necessarily align with my own thoughts about birth, but those thoughts, my opinions, must be pushed aside so that I'm able to fully-support a mother. I do, however, think that women should look into all of their birthing options and educate themselves on the many options available to them. If I can think of one criticism of the medical and healthcare system it would be that it doesn't empower patients, especially women who are pregnant. Instead a woman, under the care of an insensitive or authoritative physician, can sometimes feel small and inadequate. She is made to fear her body and the birthing process and doubt whether her body is "big enough" "strong enough" or "young enough" to do what it's supposed to do.

I love this quote by Ina May Gaskin:
Remember this, for it is as true and true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.
 Read the ACOG's complete article: Five Things Mothers and Physicians Should Question

Don’t schedule elective, non-medically indicated inductions of labor or Cesarean deliveries before 39 weeks 0 days gestational age.
Delivery prior to 39 weeks 0 days has been shown to be associated with an increased risk of learning disabilities and a potential increase in morbidity and mortality. There are clear medical indications for delivery prior to 39 weeks 0 days based on maternal and/or fetal conditions. A mature fetal lung test, in the absence of appropriate clinical criteria, is not an indication for delivery.
Don’t schedule elective, non-medically indicated inductions of labor between 39 weeks 0 days and 41 weeks 0 days unless the cervix is deemed favorable.
Ideally, labor should start on its own initiative whenever possible. Higher Cesarean delivery rates result from inductions of labor when the cervix is unfavorable. Health care practitioners should discuss the risks and benefits with their patients before considering inductions of labor without medical indications.

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