Two Part Question: Inducing Labor

Updated on August 24, 2012
C.P. asks from Columbus, OH
15 answers

I am 39 weeks and 1 Day pregnant.

I am 4cm dilated, 90% effaced, and very "thin". I have been like that for a week now.

On Tuesday (28 Aug) I will be induced if he doesnt come before then.

The doctor said they will both break my water, and use some pitocin to get things going, and that labor should be very quick for me since I am already so far dilated. Has anyone been induced before? If so, what was your experience? Should I get the epidural before they start everything since labor will be quick?

Second question. I would like him to come on his own......What are ways you have used to help induce labor naturally? With my daughter I walked literally all day between shopping, and exercise. I went into labor at 10:30 at night, and it lasted for 16 hours. After being on my feet all day, then a 16 labor with no sleep, I promised I wouldnt do that again. A 30 min walk, sure....but I am not just walking all day!

Any other suggestions?

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answers from Augusta on

I was induced with my second due to size. I don't have large hips and he was large. well he was too big even by that point so he got stuck ( 15 inch head) and went into distress and resulted in an emergency C-section.

Now contractions from pitocin are harder than normal contractions. ( in general) But was a cake walk compared to my first labor. I had back labor for my first one, she got stuck as well but they pulled her out and it was HORRIBLE. Took me MUCH longer to recooperate from the vaginal birth than from the induction that resulted in a C-section.

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answers from St. Louis on

I would NOT suggest getting the epidural until you can no longer stand the pain. Jo W is right, it can stall your labor. They will break your water, give you pitocin and you will start feeling pain. You can have Demerol or Stadol that should help with the pain. I labored for about 4 hours before it became unbearable. I was induced at 39 weeks due to borderline pre-eclampsia.

Sounds like you know the right things to do to enduce. I've also heard eating spicy things and sex will work!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Why won't your doc let you go past Tuesday? If you have no complications I see no point in inducing at all. You're not even going to be at 40 weeks then...what's the point?

I was induced with my first and it sucked. I said I would never, ever do it again but when I was a surrogate with twins, I didn't really have as much of a choice and agreed to an induction at 37 weeks. That one went well.

Yes get the epidural first if you do end up being induced but without an actual medical reason, I would not show up for an induction. Labor is easier when your body is ready.

ETA: Get the epidural PLACED as soon as you can, before they start the pitocin. They don't have to actually start the medication until later but at least you won't be bent over the edge of the bed trying to hold still so that they can properly thread a tube into your spine while you're white-knuckling your way through a pitocin contraction from hell. Ask me how I know this...

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answers from St. Louis on

First of all here is the problem with getting your epidural too quickly, you cannot walk, it slows the labor down.

When I had my third my water broke. The hospital has a policy that if you do not give birth in 24 hours they will do a c section, I am too vain for that. :p So when most go into the hospital screaming for pain meds I was demanding pitocin! An hour later my son was born. There was not enough time to do an epidural but really it wasn't necessary, the darn kid pretty much fell out as soon as the contractions began.

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answers from Kansas City on

I was a week late with my 8th child and my doctor was going to induce me if by the next appointment I hadn't delivered. He told me to take castor oil and if you're ready it will work and if not you just go to the bathroom a lot. I took it and it worked fairly quickly, was not what you'd expect with cramping or anything like that but did start labor and emptied me out. If you are that much ready it should work for you if you want to attempt it. Call a pharmacist or ask your doctor about how much to take. I put it in orange juice and just drank it down.
I had plenty of time after the castor oil to have had an epidural. It just depends on your body. And that can happen with any labor. It caused my water to break and labor to start but I still had several hours of labor.

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answers from Youngstown on

I was in the same boat as you this same time last year. My baby was born on August 17, 2011. I was 40w 6d dilated 3 and 80 effaced and thin. I went in at 7 am. Pitocin started at 8 am. Doctor broke my water at about 9:15. Baby was born at 10:56 am. No epidural (personal preference-I had a bad experience with my first baby). It hurt like heck but it was fast. And I tried everything before, tons of walking squats, sex you name it I was trying with all my might to will this baby out but he needed motivation. lol Good luck.

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answers from Pocatello on

I was given pitocin during both of my labors. I was IN labor both times, but the pitocin sped things up.

The first time they gave me pitocin a few hours after my water broke at home. Labor lasted 8 hours before I had my eldest- I had no pain medication.

The second time I was MISERABLE and huge, and asked the doctor at my 39 week appt if my insurance would allow me to get induced on my due date, (rather than 2 weeks after) which she said would be fine. the day BEFORE I was scheduled to be induced, she called me and had an opening in 1/2 an hour- and quite frankly told me that she had another complicated c-section scheduled for the next day and so if i was ready to have a baby NOW that would be great! I ran into the hospital and low and behold I was already in labor- they gave me some pitocin to speed things along since my first delivery was fast and uncomplicated... and 6 hour later I had my baby!

So here are the details. Pitocin makes your contractions a lot harder, faster, and stronger. If you are laboring along and they give you pitocin, about 20 minutes later (when it kicks in) you will start having contractions that might knock your socks off. usually, they INCREASE the dose a few times during labor- so by the end your contractions are very painful and intense. Now, i have never have a baby without it- so I cannot make a comparison. The pain for me was terrible, but livable. The nice thing was that when i reached pushing stage I wasn't EXHAUSTED- since I hadn't labored for 12 or 24 hours. I had plenty of strength to push, and my first came out in 10 minutes, my second in less than five.

now, just to be clear you don't HAVE to have an epidural just because you are induced- some people think that but it is not true. If you WANT one, which fine and great- it will slow down the labor some, so even with pitocin it wont be as speedy, perhaps, as mine were.

Pitocin did make me feel extra jittery, and like my heart was racing a bit. I felt a little bit like i was having an ongoing adrenaline rush (but not a super fun one). It was more noticeable AFTER delivery when I tried to go to the bathroom or stand up- I was shaking a lot, and the nurse said that should go away as the pitocin wears off. I don't know if that is the case with an epidural...

What I did do to prepare for labor was drink Traditional Medicinals pregnancy tea and Rasberry Leaf tea, I took evening primrose oil walk and walk and walk, sex daily, and I might have done about 300 sets of squats. I also ate tons of spicy food... but that did absolutely nothing good.

I think the raspberry leaf tea helped a lot- i was drinking it like it was going out of style. Since I had a healthy pregnancy and was rounding the bend, My doctor told me that i could do any or all of the methods EXCEPT she told me NOT to use black cohosh...

Good luck to you and your baby!

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answers from Charleston on

Had an induction with both my pregnancies. With the second child, I was 5 cm dilated and 90% effaced, and had been that way for over a week. I got the epidural but too late. Once they gave me that pitocin it was a matter of minutes before I was ready to push. I finished dilating in less than 45 minutes. I got the epidural, but it didn't have time to really take effect. Ask for your epidural early, although from pain I did experience, it was nothing compared to the 3 kidney stones I've had.

I've heard sex helps labor happen. That and a good walk or hot mexican food. haha! Good luck and congrats!

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answers from Kansas City on

I was induced twice...both times rec'd the epidural and different intervals during the process. I think it depends on what type of nurse you have. My first nurse was not that helpful and frankly I felt I was not a priority to her evening. Same hospital two years later and I could not have had a better nurse. When I arrived she sat down we spent 30 minutes discussing what I wanted. I told her yes I do want the epidural...but I wanted to make sure it was better timing this time. Just as I was about to ask her for it she said "I think it's time so I went ahead and called for the epidural!"....

Know what you want, state want you want and allow for timing changes.

My sister however, drank castor oil and around 5 pm and my nephew was born at time for an epidural.

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answers from Reno on

Hi. I was induced with all 3 of mine ( I was over-due with each) as well as had my water broken. Also, I had epidurals with each one, as well. With the first labor, the epidural worked perfectly. With the second one, I was so numb, my husband and nurses had to literally move my legs for me and I was so numb I couldn't tell if I was pushing or not. With the 3rd, it basically did no good at all! I felt every bit of childbirth. With each one, my doctor told me to expect a quick birth. Well, he was wrong on all 3 counts. They lasted from 10-19 hours of actual "push time". So, don't go in truly expecting it to be quick. Every birth is different! :)

As for the second question, well, I drank a few tbs. of cod liver oil and walked laps around the mall! lol didn't work!

Best of luck and congratulations!!!


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answers from Oklahoma City on

My daughter has been induced several times. The induced labors were faster and much harder than the ones that started on their own. I would want to wait too. It's just much easier when it's nature.

If the doc really wants to schedule this child's birth then there is little you can do to stop him from putting it on the books. I hope you'll get to have the baby sometime this weekend.

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answers from Dallas on

with my last, I was dialated to 3 for at least a week. I got induced and it was19 hours. HORRID. Sorry dear, but it is the truth. My others were 8 hours, 4 hours and 6 hours. This bugger wasn't ready, obviously. Mine was a little early, yours not so much, so hopefully it goes faster.

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answers from Norfolk on

Is there a reason they want to induce?
If there's no medical reason (your health, babies health, complications, etc), then refuse the inducing and wait it out (at least until there is a reason to induce).
I went into labor on my own.
It was a total of 36 hrs long.
I had the epidural after 16 hours and I was SO ready for it by then.
I was already exhausted - I never would have been able to push 20 hrs later if I hadn't been able to rest up.
Our son was born vaginally, 9 lbs 1.5 oz perfectly healthy.

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answers from Kalamazoo on

I was induced with both my kids. As soon as they allowed the epidural, which is different at every hospital, I got one. My first labor was very long, the second one was only a few hours. If you are already 4 cm, it should go quick. GL

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answers from San Francisco on

You know, I had pitocin the first time around (I went into labor naturally, but my doctor had dinner reservations somewhere and didn't want to cancel them, so he decided I would have pitocin to speed things along... yes, really). My doctor broke my water when I was around 6cm, and my baby went into immediate distress - heart rate was barely there, and they called for an emergency c-section. Thankfully, a veteran L&D nurse ran in and had me flip over onto all fours - and the baby's heart rate came back up on its own. Crisis averted - BUT, from this I learned that sometimes your water doesn't break because the baby isn't ready for it to break (in our case, my daughter's umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck, and the sudden loss of amniotic fluid caused her head to bend forward and put pressure on the cord).

I had an epidural almost immediately upon checking into the hospital with both babies - actually, if you read the studies on this, there is NO DIFFERENCE in labor times in women who have epidurals early on, and those who wait. I think pitocin will screw with you a lot more than an epidural will, to be honest.

So, with baby #2, my water broke before I went into labor, and I had no pitocin. Labor was WAY easier when my body was in charge of the schedule, and not the doctor. And actually, afterward, I didn't feel like I'd been punched in the stomach repeatedly, like I had the first time.

If you have the choice, I vote for no induction. Just let your body handle this on your own schedule, rather than trying to impose a schedule on the process. If there's no medical reason to induce, I wouldn't do it. Just me personally.

In terms of going into labor - the first time, I went into labor because I'd been laughing (really, really hard - crying laughing). We watched a Robin Williams stand-up show on tv, and I swear that all that laughing made me go into labor (2 weeks early, and with my first baby, at that). The second time, my baby came right on her due date, and NOTHING I did sped that along. I walked, I jogged, I ate all kinds of random foods that people told me to try, nothing worked. On my due date, I just woke up, got out of bed, and pop! My water broke. So... it will happen when it happens.

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