If you are facing the prospect of medical induction, we understand this can be a very stressful time. Although we recognise that induction can be a very necessary procedure to ensure the health of you and your baby, we are also very aware that the pressure to have your baby can be potentially based to suit the schedules and protocols of your caregivers and not evidence based or best practice.
Why are you taking too long to give birth? Well in the main you are not. The standard dating rule of 40 weeks is based on Naegele’s Rule. This theory was originated by a botanist, who in 1744 came up with a method of calculating the EDD based upon evidence in the Bible that human gestation lasts approximately 10 lunar months. The formula was publicized around 1812 by German obstetrician Franz Naegele and since has become the accepted norm for calculating the due date. There is one glaring flaw in Naegele’s rule. Strictly speaking, a lunar (or synodic – from new moon to new moon) month is actually 29.53 days, which makes 10 lunar months roughly 295 days, a full 15 days longer than the 280 days gestation we’ve been lead to believe is average. In fact, if left alone, 50-80% of mothers will gestate beyond 40 weeks. Furthermore only 4% of women give birth on their due date.
In addition, the rule is also based on a cycle of 28 days and does not take into account any variations. Finally studies in Australia have shown over 28% of inductions are unnecessary. But still our hospitals stick to the 40 week principals.
How we can help
There are some practical things you can do to reduce the risk of induction. These include:
- Take time to relax from about 6 weeks before the estimated due time for your baby. This helps to provide the right environment for your hormones to build and soften your cervix.
- Start a pregnancy cervical ripening program proved in trials to reduce the risk of induction – we have a cervical ripening program available from about the 37th week of your pregnancy.
- Get support for any emotional or anxiety problems you have that may build your stress levels – Homeopathy is specifically helpful for this as you will be receive councelling as part of your consultation.
- Get used the idea of a due month rather than a due date, which can be anything from 38 to 42 weeks of pregnancy. If you and your baby are healthy and your pregnancy has been trouble free, don’t be pressured into taking induction as a given.
If you are past your hospital due dates and are under pressure, we have a specialists in acupuncture, homeopathy and reflexology to help speed up mother nature. We have found many women miss their last appointment as they have gone into spontaneous labour after using acupuncture – Including the clinic director – Lisa Wilkinson
The elbowroom has an extensive range of classes for all ages and abilities. We offer such an eclectic mix to enable you to find something that will suit you. If you need any advice, please contact our class advisor who can point you in the right direction.