Monday, July 27, 2009

New rules for inducing labor

Pretty much every woman knows someone (or a few women, or a lot of women) whose labor was induced. Maybe your labor was induced. The point is, inducing labor has become fairly common.

In fact, the rate of labor induction in the US has more than doubled since 1990, according to the American College of Obstetricians (ACOG). In 2006, about one of every five birthing women was induced. Last week ACOG released new guidelines that labor should not be induced, without medical reason, before 39 weeks gestation or without proving that the baby’s lungs are fully developed. That’s because inductions are associated with a higher risk of C-sections, longer hospital stays, and higher costs, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Several local hospital systems have already implemented ACOG's new policy, including Fairview and HealthEast.

One author of ACOG’s new guidelines told the Chronicle that induction has “really become an epidemic,” and that she hopes the guidelines lead to a reduction in the rate of inductions. You can read more about ACOG’s new guidelines in this
Houston Chronicle article.

If you’re pregnant and want to learn more about induction—the risks, the potential benefits, and how it’s done—here are a few good books to check out:

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, by Henci Goer
The Birth Partner, by Penny Simkin
Pregnancy, Childbirth & the Newborn, by Penny Simkin

(Psst: We sell some of these books at Blooma!) And for the record, we know more than a few full-term pregnant mamas who have gone home from one of our prenatal yoga classes only to spontaneously start labor soon thereafter!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

1 comment:

Ann said...

Thanks for posting this. I'm so glad that the medical profession is rethinking this. When I was 38 weeks, my doctor wanted to start having the conversation about when we would think about inducing. I wasn't even full term yet! My daughter came naturally only 2 days after her due date, but just having my doctor mention this made me start to worry. As if we don't worry about enough about our pregnancies!