Induction of labour is a very 'hot' topic at the moment, and we recently shared a blog post about induction of labour which received a lot of positive feedback. One concern that people have is that many of the web pages which discuss induction talk about the ‘need’ to be induced, and yet it is always a woman's decision to accept or decline induction or any other medical procedure.Here, we share seven of our favourite resources for women who want more information about induction of labour, which may be offered for a number of different reasons.
Sara (who is a member of our Forum) has recently updated her book on this topic, which contains loads of discussion about the process of induction, the things that a woman might want to take into account when considering whether or not induction of labour is right for her and, perhaps best of all, a discussion of the evidence for different reasons for induction, including post-term, suspected bigger babies, IVF pregnancy and when the waters release earlier than usual.
This website contains some useful information about induction rates and a tool to enable women to look at their options locally. We always recommend looking at a variety of sources of information, and some people will want to ask questions that aren’t covered on here, but the website is accessible and clear, and it is possible to find out about what induction rates are in your area, which can help give a bit more information about whether induction of labour is something likely to be recommended to you. You can also find out about the different options you have in relation to place of birth.
We think that women who may face a decision about induction should know how to find out about what the national-level recommendations are in their area, if this is of interest. In the UK, this is the NICE guidelines, although hospitals will have their own guidelines as well.
Some midwives and doctors disagree with elements of this guideline, and evidence is never ‘set in stone’, but the first few sections are very useful, because they spell out what women can expect as well as giving a health service perspective on some of the pros and cons of this procedure. Women in other countries may also wish to search for the relevant recommendations, or ask a care provider for a copy of these. As Sara Wickham discusses in her book, there is a lot of variation between countries and health care systems, which also shows how evidence can be interpreted differently by different people and organisations.
It’s important to look at both sides of the picture, of course, and there is a lot of ‘pro’ induction chatter on the internet, so there are a few articles that we recommend to balance this out. The first is this Journal of Perinatal Education article by Judith Lothian, as it helps give some information that isn’t always made clear elsewhere.
Another article that we like is on the BellyBelly website. It is called , But it’s not all negative ,and many people have commented that it is really useful to be able to look at this decision from a number of different perspectives. There are several other useful articles on this website as well, so be sure to surf around a bit!
Another book which you might find useful is Rachel Reed's 'Why Induction Matters'. This book is also geared towards helping parents make the decision that is right for them rather than pushing people down a standardised path or one which is more convenient for the system or health care provider.
Lastly, we want to highlight the Birthrights guide to consent, Consenting to Treatment. We think it’s vital that women are able to understand what sort of information they can expect to receive - in relation to any medical procedure, not just induction of labour - and what the issues are around agreeing to or declining medical treatment. You’ll find lots of other information on the Birthrights website too.