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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Labor Inductions-Advice from AWHONN

I am a part of nurses organization for obstetrical nurses called AWHONN.  I get magazines from them to give out to my clients, and interestingly enough, this quarter, they had two articles on early inductions.  One was called Don't Deliver Before 39 Weeks and Go the Full 40 Weeks.  So for those who are interested here's just a brief synopses of what they say.

Don't Deliver Before 39 Weeks
Experts from ACOG, Childbirth Connection, the March of Dimes and AWHONN are all warning moms that elective early inductions before 39 weeks are leading to increases in NICU admissions and life-long health problems for baby.  "Women need to protect themselves by refusing to schedule their deliveries before 39 weeks without a sound medical reason, and by knowing the facts about the hospitals they plan to deliver in," said Leapfrog Group CEO Leah Binder.  Hospital induction rates can be found at

"The last few weeks of pregnancy are critical to a baby's health because important organs, including the brain and lungs, are not completely developed until then," says Alan R. Fleischman, MD, senior vice president of the March of Dimes.

Go the Full 40 Weeks
This article reminds women that a normal pregnancy can go up to 42 weeks.  They acknowledge the difficulty the last weeks of pregnancy can be, but stress the fact that the last few weeks of pregnancy are very important for your baby.

They talk about the fact that a baby born even a few weeks early can have problems such as temperature instability, struggles maintaining blood sugar, and feeding and breathing problems.  Babies born early are more likely to have diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

During the last week the baby is still developing.  The baby is still gaining weight that helps to keep her warm.  Her lungs, liver and brain are also still developing the last two weeks of pregnancy.  If a baby is born to early, they are more likely to develop jaundice due to an immature liver.  The brain is also developing and if born early, the sucking and swallowing reflex is sometimes affected.  This then leads to breastfeeding difficulties.  Your baby may also need to stay in the hospital longer due to some of these problems.

They also stress that sometimes there are medical reasons to induce.  But that the risk should outweigh the benefit.  "Remember that an induction of labor is not without risk and could result in a cesarean surgery if unsuccessful."

This give this word of advice, "If you've made it to 40 weeks, you've come a long way and you've got a lot to be proud of-soon you'll hold your marvelous baby in your arms!"

1 comment:

Courtney said...

Having had a baby 2 1/2 weeks early and my other three going full-term- There is a HUGE difference in those last few weeks. I can attest that babies born full-term eat better, sleep better, settle down better. I always tell women "you want a fully cooked baby". Thanks for all your great advice and research.

Birth is a Journey: Does it have to be life changing?

  • One woman might have to climb on an overfilled boat, risking her life and nearly dying as she escapes over the ocean to come to this land. This experience could certainly be life altering. It may very well color the rest of her life, positively or negatively. (I overcame this amazing struggle and here I am triumphant! OR Holy crap, that was SO hard I don’t know if I can go on! By the way, neither response is “right”. No one would judge the woman with the 2nd response.)
  • One woman may buy an airplane ticket, sit on a comfortable 747 and fly to America with a nice smooth flight and landing. She is happy to be in America. Those welcoming her are glad she is here safe and sound. She may only travel by plane 2-4 times in her life, so it is pretty memorable. But the journey itself probably wouldn’t be life changing; it would simply be a journey.
  • One woman may learn to fly an ultra-light plane to lead a flock of geese into America teaching them to migrate. This experience could certainly be empowering and life altering.