I Am Facing An Induction- How Can I Prepare?

Inductions are typically last minute and make even the most experienced mothers shake in their boots a bit. Moms groups on Facebook everywhere talk about inductions like they are literally a nightmare- every single one ending in a cesarean section or worse. Contrary to popular belief, the statistics actually show that the greater portion of inductions end in a successful vaginal delivery.

A 2018 NIH Study actually stated “Elective induction at 39 weeks may REDUCE likelihood of C-Section.” In the study, only 18.6% of women who were induced actually wound up having a cesarean section! This means 81.4% had a successful vaginal delivery! This is one study of many that begins to dispel some myths about both elective and medically necessary inductions. More on that here: 

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/induced-labor-39-weeks-may-reduce-likelihood-c-section-nih-study-suggests 

Here are 6 steps that help to emotionally prepare for the induction process:


1) Get everything physically ready at home. Make sure your hospital go bag is packed and you have made arrangements for taking care of animals or plants for the first week or so- just like you would if you were going on vacation. Freezer meals or a meal train is another very helpful addition to that list. Literally anything you can do or plan ahead of time will A) take stress off of you when you get home so you have less to worry about and B) keep you busy prior to the induction giving you less time to worry in the first place! Win-Win!

2) Research your induction method. Understanding completely what is going to happen and how will help you emotionally prepare for what is ahead. If you don’t understand part of the procedure, or aren’t clear on which procedure your provider is using- give them a call to discuss it. Oftentimes there are great videos on youtube that explain induction methods with helpful graphics for your to totally understand the procedure and what to expect. 

3) Don’t listen to horror stories from friends and family- as a matter of fact, staying off social media might be ideal. People tend to only remember the worst parts of their inductions, not the easy parts giving them a really bad rap. The last thing you need to hear prior to an induction is how Susan had a 46 hour labor that ended in a cesarean section because of a failed induction. That is NOT encouraging! 

4) Have your birth preferences or birth plan ready to go. Include your preferences for if things don’t go quite according to plan. Knowing you still have some control no matter what happens can be very helpful. This might include options for laboring with an epidural, or your wishes in the event of a medically necessary cesarean section.

5) Make sure your partner or birth support team understands your preferences if any issues arise. Knowing they can help speak for you if you are unable to speak for yourself can really help your anxiety levels. No matter what happens, you know someone in your corner will be making sure your wishes are respected.

6) Discuss any fears you may be having with someone close to you, no matter how silly they may seem. Talk to your provider, doula, therapist, partner, or even a close family member (or a combination of all of the above!) if you have a bad feeling about your induction. Talking it out may make you feel better about it, or at least help you understand what it is that is really making you nervous. More often than not, just talking about it out loud can relieve a lot of anxiety.

Finally, I may be biased by saying this- but hiring a doula to help get you through your induction is always a wise decision. It is never too late to hire one, and they can help you navigate your induction in the most comfortable way possible for you. They have “been there done that” and can help give tips, information, and support no matter what turns your labor may take. This is truly invaluable to many people! I highly recommend searching for someone in your area to help! If you can’t find anyone, feel free to email me and I will help you find someone that serves your area.

leah@doulainmississippi.com

Wishing you the best in birth!

Leah