There are so many discrepancies in hospitals across the UK as to when is the best time to offer an Induction of Labour (IOL). It is important to understand that an IOL is just an offer of care and like every choice you make in pregnancy, you do not have to accept it.
Your One to One midwife will talk to you about the risks and benefits of this option towards the end of your pregnancy. Your midwife can also discuss what plan of care can be put in place to reassure you if you chose to decline an IOL. We call this 'conservative management'.
An IOL is performed in hospital and can be done in many ways. The main types of induction are:
The main aim of types 1 and 2 IOL is to soften and "ripen" the cervix so that your body will begin to labour and dilate the cervix without further assistance. Sometimes if this is unsuccessful in producing spontaneous tightening’s/surges you may be offered type 3 IOL, if this is unsuccessful in producing spontaneous tightening’s/surges you may be offered type 4 IOL.
IOL is a long process sometimes spanning over a 1-2 days depending on how many different stages/types of IOL is required. It is important in this time to mobilise as much as possible, eat and hydrate so that you can prime your body for labour and birth.
What are your experiences or thoughts on IOL? What are your experiences or thoughts on conservative management?
Post by Lorna, One to One midwife