Press release-Washington, DC: September 23, 2014 The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) is calling upon healthcare providers and pregnant women to avoid induction of labor at any time during pregnancy unless it is medically necessary, and should especially not be done for convenience. To read the full press release, click here.
(AWHONN) is the foremost nursing authority that advances the health care of women and newborns through advocacy, research and the creation of high quality, evidence-based standards of care. AWHONN strives to represent the interests of 350,000 registered nurses working in women’s health, obstetric and neonatal nursing nationwide. According to AWHONN approximately one-in-four U.S. births are induced, a number that has more than doubled since 1990. While there are limited data to distinguish how many of these inductions are for medical and non-medical reasons, there is no data to suggest that the significant increase in the induction rate is attributable to a similar rise in medical problems during pregnancy. Researchers have demonstrated increased risks for mom and baby and have published their position statement in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing (JOGNN) position statement-click here.
Risk for moms: there may be an increased risk for hemorrhage (severe bleeding), increased risk of cesarean birth, which subsequently increases the risk for infection, abnormal attachment of the placenta to the uterus in future pregnancies,as well as complications from abdominal scar tissue.
Risks for babies:elective induction may increase the risk of fetal stress, more respiratory illness, more separation from the mother, interrupted bonding,and less breastfeeding. Additionally, when complications occur, babies are more likely to be admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit, have longer hospital stays, and more hospital re-admissions. These results are costly.
There are significant health benefits for the woman and fetus when labor starts on its own. Naturally occurring hormones prepare the woman and fetus for labor and birth. Spontaneous labor triggers hormones that provide:
- natural pain relief
- help calm the woman during labor
- facilitate normal detachment of the placenta from the uterus
- increase mother-baby attachment after birth
- enhance breastfeeding
- warm the mother’s skin which in turn helps to warm the baby
- clear fetal lung fluid
- transfer of maternal antibodies to the fetus
My advice is to trust your Obstetrical care provider. Labor should only be induced for medical reasons—not for convenience or scheduling concerns. Healthy mom, healthy baby!
Learn more with a fun interactive game online: 40 reasons to go at least the full 40 weeks of pregnancy