Well, I am officially 34 weeks along and at my last checkup my doctor approached me with a question about if I’d like to induce labor at 39 weeks, more specifically 5 days before my due date. He said that there was a study that came out last year that recommends inducing during the 39th week because the longer you’re pregnant the more risk there is with delivery & in turn having to have a c-section, or, worse, lose the baby. The study is called The ARRIVE Trial. Now, I am someone who is a big enthusiast in trusting my doctor’s expertise & I also really love my doctor. He is very intelligent and always has great, scientific explanations for all of my questions. But this was something that I needed to look into because it didn’t seem right deep down to unnecessarily induce before my due date. I’ve always been told to let the baby cook as long as he/she wants, as long as it’s still in the healthy delivery window.
Since this is my second pregnancy, I feel I am more comfortable forming my own opinion on the situation than during my 1st pregnancy, especially since my daughter came naturally just 2 days before her due date. To be clear, we all have reasons for induction… The little nugget is a bit too comfortable in there & does not want to come out. You have had a very difficult pregnancy and are in a lot of pain. I also have a friend whose 2nd baby was born just 5 minutes after she arrived at the hospital, so she is worried she will not make it to the hospital in time during this (her third) pregnancy. We all have our reasons! It seemed like a great idea at first to me to be induced early because I want to make sure Ella, my 2 year old, is comfortable during this whole situation and well taken care of throughout the process while Dada and I are a little preoccupied at the hospital giving her a brother. Since I’m now living in Texas with my parents in Florida & sister in Michigan (and the fact that I’m a major control freak!!), I figured why not control this situation, as well! Then I can have my parents and sister in town in time for me to have my baby to be at the hospital with me and/or home with Ella… perfect!!
But, like I said, in my gut I knew I needed to look further into the study my doctor was referencing so I could make an informed decision on my own of what is best for this little baby boy.
Here is a link to the actual study: Labor Induction versus Expectant Management in Low-Risk Nulliparous Women
Here is an excellent non-biased summary that makes all the language in the original study make way more sense: The ARRIVE Trial
The trial was done on about 6,000 low-risk, 1st time mothers throughout the US. The results showed that inducing at 39 weeks did not reduce the risk of death or serious outcomes, however, it did improve upon the result of emergency c-sections by 3%.
This is where it comes down to preference…. for me, having a c-section is not the worst thing in the world. My sister, Barb, had all 3 of her children via c-section. Would I prefer a vaginal birth? Definitely. Why have surgery if you don’t have to? The most important thing to me is that my child is “well-cooked” in the belly and ready to come out! Women have been birthing babies FOREVER naturally, so why change it up unless you are at risk for a dangerous birth by waiting too long.
Also, from what I’ve read, inducing labor usually will elongate the labor process. I was in labor with Ella for about 12 hours… and that was long enough for me!
So what did we decide?? I have scheduled an induction for the week after my due date. If I have to be induced, no problem, at least I know our little guy is nicely baked in there and ready to come out! If since I hope to go naturally and in turn need to have a c-section, so be it!
I’m still trying to decide how to plan flights with my family for their arrival, but I have friends that have become like family here and have offered to help with Ella while we are in the hospital, so at least I know she will be well taken care of!
I am very happy with this decision & have zero doubts that it’s the right one for our family.
The main photo is the day after my sweet Ella was born 2 years ago & we were still in the hospital… all snuggled up, mid-breastfeeding, and so in love.
Disclaimer: The above post is solely my opinion given that I am a low-risk pregnant woman & am on my second pregnancy so would like to attempt to give birth to our son naturally, without induction, if possible. Please do not take offense to any of my opinions, as this is just what we feel is best for our family. Labor & delivery is different for everyone and I know it is important to follow your heart of what is best for your family.