Lysa Farrell's first child joined the family 40 minutes after
her water broke.
The second baby appeared even sooner-in her car, which her
husband had urgently parked in front of the Hinsdale Hospital
emergency room while he went for help. When the Downers Grove mom
became pregnant with her third child, she had only one thought-"I
didn't want to have this baby in the house."
After consulting with the midwife who would deliver the baby,
Lysa and her husband, Andrew, decided she would be induced at 39
Inducing moms-to-be who deliver ultrafast is only one reason
doctors and midwives might encourage a mom to go this route.
Induction is also used for pregnant women who have gone past their
due date or if there are medical complications with either the mom
or the baby, says Dr. Nadine Bolger, an obstetrician at
Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
The best time to talk to your doctor about being induced is well
before the procedure is ever needed. "I think it's important to get
a perspective on a doctor's philosophy (about induction) early on,
to understand upfront … their timing of inductions and reasons,"
If a doctor recommends inducing, have a discussion about the
rationale and the method that will be used, as well as what the
risks are for a possible failed induction or Cesarean rate.
"If a doctor's recommending induction for medical reasons, there
isn't time to wait. But if you're thinking of it more for an
elective approach-for instance if other kids and child care issues
are in the picture-the doctor may say let's wait a bit," Bolger
Once the doctor and soon-to-be parents agree it's time to
induce, there are a variety of ways to get things moving. The
doctor can soften and dilate the cervix, break the bag of water or
administer drugs such as oxytocin or prostaglandins to stimulate
contractions, Bolger says. How quickly after that the child is born
is variable and depends on how many children the mom has had
previously, how far along she is in her pregnancy and how favorable
her cervix is at the onset of dilation.
In Farrell's case, her midwife started her on the drug pitocin
at 9 a.m.; her baby was born at 2:04 p.m. Although many other moms
had warned her of the pain from being induced, Farrell found the
pain tolerable with the help of a mild pain-relieving drug. Any
pain was outweighed by the more relaxed atmosphere this time
"We were in the labor and delivery room; we got to experience it
and sign papers and check in," she says. "Before it was, you come
in and your baby's delivered. This time it was a little bit more
control and the pain was managed very well."
Liz DeCarlo is the senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.
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