Do not let your caregiver bully you into giving up your rights for their convenience.
You have rights. It is important in a time where POLICIES are being placed before patient rights to know what your rights are.
Discuss your rights and your birth preferences with your caregiver early on. You may even want to interview potential caregivers before your pregnancy to determine who might be a good fit for you.
**As with all procedures and interventions, please do your own research and decide if the results of the procedure outweigh the associated risks.
Induction seems to be one of the fastest rising interventions in the U.S.
From the National Vital Statistics System: The rate of induction of labor more than doubled from 1990 through 2010, from 9.6% to 23.8%
I KNOW that you are ready to meet your baby! I understand! However, induction will only increase the risks to yourself and your baby.
Labor induction carries various risks, including: (from Mayo Clinic)
Caregivers commonly perform membrane sweeping and rupturing of membranes during induction.
It is common for medical professionals to routinely strip membranes and/ or rupture membranes during vaginal checks. Caregivers tend to do this in hopes to “move things along”.
If you are having a normal and healthy pregnancy, there is no need to start the induction process.
The stripping of membranes carries the risk of infection, excessive vaginal bleeding, and the unintended rupture of the amniotic sac.
Once your membranes have ruptured, most doctors will put you on a time clock and if you don’t deliver within 24 hours, then you will automatically be a candidate for an emergency caesarian section- even with no other risk factors.
From Medscape: Despite a lack of evidence, there is a widespread impression among providers that when the duration of the rupture of membranes exceeds 24 hours, there is increased danger to mother and baby. Birth within 24 hours is a common management goal when the membranes are ruptured.
There are different ways that your caregiver might monitor you and your baby.
Blood pressure is monitored once an hour unless there is a reason to suspect preeclampsia or other blood pressure-related issues.
Fetal monitoring is done with a band around your abdomen. This band usually measures both the heart rate of the baby and the strength/timing of your contractions.
The problem with this type of monitoring is that it can easily slip and the readings will then be inaccurate. Another issue with this type of monitoring is that you tend to lose mobility due to all of the cords attaching you to a machine.
This procedure requires the doctor to rupture your membranes if they have not ruptured on their own. From Healthline: The doctor will then insert the transducer on the baby’s scalp as gently as possible. In some cases, the transducer might cause some injury to your baby. Examples of potential injuries include bruising and scratching.
In some cases, this type of constant monitoring may cause unnecessary concern. When there is a question as to whether or not a baby is in distress, the doctor will typically err on the side of caution. This can lead to further interventions such as:
These may be common practice in many hospitals, but as stated before, every procedure and intervention has risks. The risks to the mother for these procedures include:
The risks to the baby for these interventions include:
According to the American Academy of Nursing, the risks associated with internal fetal monitoring outweigh the benefits in low-risk pregnancies.
This type of monitoring is favored by many midwives. It is non-invasive and allows for free movement. Frequent movement has been proven to reduce interventions in labor and delivery.
The nurse/ midwife/ doctor will use a doppler to check the baby’s heart rate. This can even be done while you are in the tub/ shower.
You have the right to request intermittent monitoring for both yourself and your baby.
PRO TIP: Hire a doula! Doulas reduce the need for many interventions and will help you to stand up for your rights!
Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of this series: Know your rights- 13 Rights That Every Pregnant Mom Has to read about the following:
Crystal is a local birth and newborn photographer currently residing in the Savannah, Georgia area. She loves Jesus, coffee, and her family- usually in that order. Her love for families includes educating and empowering mommas so that they know their choices and can help themselves to have better outcomes in labor and delivery, as well as post-partum.
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