Questions about being induced — The Bump
3rd Trimester

Questions about being induced

This is my first pregnancy. I have had a relatively "easy" pregnancy and have had no complications. I'm currently 3 days past my due date and have still not dialated yet. I'm scheduled to go in to the hospital next week for a "ripening of cervix" and to be induced the following day. What can I expect? I tend to get uncomfortable having my cervix checked, will this be painful at all? For anyone who has been induced, how long did it take between being induced and baby being born? Will I be in the hospital longer than if I had started labor on my own? Does this raise my chance of having a c-section? I hope baby decides to arrive on his own before then, but if not, I'm ready for anything! Any knowledge/advice is appreciated. 

Best Answer

  • KaLikeAWindKaLikeAWind
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited August 2016 Accepted Answer
    ETA sorry such a long post...

    I was induced at 1 week overdue. I'm not sure what they mean by "ripen your cervix", unless they are planning on using cytotec (misoprostol) placed on your cervix to hopefully kick start dilation and contractions. They did this with me, and it barely worked. For some it works fine, tho. I had the cytotec placed at 8am in the morning and had barely dilated 1.5cm by 5pm, and they began an iv drip of pitocin, which did begin to bring on contractions, tho dilation was slow until the very end, when I dilated from 3cm to 10cm in the space of 90 min, from 1030pm to midnight (after being on pitocin for 5+ hours).

    But each labor is SO different, you could not even need pitocin, or only need it real briefly. There is no way anyone can predict how your labor will go, but I tell my experience so that hopefully you can compare to someone else's and see that there is no 'normal'.

    To answer your questions as best I can -

    Will it be painful to have your cervix "ripened"? If they are using the cytotec, I did not find that to be any more uncomfortable than having it checked (which I found was pretty uncomfortable, being always "high and tight"). I was not told, but I think I had a membrane sweep once, on my due date, as that 'check' was more uncomfortable than any others. But the cytotec was not as bad as that, (which was not painful, per se', just really uncomfortable). The answer to this question will rest on your personal pain threshold.

    Will you be in the hospital longer than starting labor on your own? No one knows. Start of my induction (cytotec) to baby being born was 18 hours (otherwise, it was 9 hours after starting pitocin). I've had other moms tell me their induced labors were much shorter, and others longer.

    Will it increase you chances of a c-section? I shouldn't think so, unless you are already at a higher likelihood of a c-section anyway, or, your baby is not progressing. One of my mom friends spent almost 36 hours in labor during her induction, and finally did have a c-section because her baby had partially descended but would not go any farther, and she was exhausted. We had the same doctor, so her 'steps' in induction were the same. I tell you this to again illustrate how each and every labor is different. This particular question is best asked to your doctor.

    Advice I can give - my Dr told me to eat a light breakfast, I wish I had eaten a monster breakfast. Some don't want you to eat anything in case you do need a c-section, but once you check in at the hospital, you cannot eat anything, and can only drink clear liquids (I was allowed water and occasional apple juice, and also occasional jello cups). I WAS STARVING when I began pushing after midnight the next day. I don't recommend to go against your drs orders, but if they say breakfast is ok, I'd eat a hearty one. They may let you have a juice popsicle, so it's not a bad idea to bring a few if you can (or send hubby for some). 

    If you can bring dvds, do so. Maybe a favorite show you've seen before so it can distract you, but you can also concentrate on other things and not miss something vital to the story.

    Otherwise, just relax. Don't be afraid to ask questions, but don't be prohibitive to your medical team doing their jobs. Be nice to the nurses. Thank the anesthesiologist if you get an epidural. If you do get an epidural, try to get a break and a nap if possible after its working, you don't know how long you could be pushing, you may need to be well rested. That kind of stuff. Try to enjoy your labor (as much as you can).
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker


  • Thank you so much, that's very helpful! I feel a little better now. :) 
  • I'll add that I was induced with Cervidil, which is similar to Cytotec, and it moved things along well enough that I didn't need pitocin. I was induced at 37 weeks. I did have a c section, which was completely unrelated to being induced. I was high risk and baby had some issues. However, 12 hours exactly after the first dose my water broke, I had transitioned and could have pushed. 

    You may need pitocin, maybe not, you may or may not need a c section. All of these are possibilities regardless if you are induced or not. But, none of it will matter once you have your beautiful, healthy baby in your arms. Baby has to come out one way or the other ;) do your best to relax. 

    I second the hearty breakfast. Lots of complex carbs and protein for energy. Pack snacks for after the birth if your hospital doesn't have a good variety and/or 24 hour kitchen. Protein bars, peanuts, Gatorade, peanut butter and crackers. You won't likely feel like eating for a few hours after, but the snacks I brought were a godsend when I woke in the middle of the night and all they had on hand were Popsicles and jello. 
  • fwbflutegirlfwbflutegirl
    Ninth Anniversary 100 Comments 5 Love Its Photogenic
    edited September 2016
    I was induced at 40 wks, 6 days and I think I was dilated to a 1? I went in at 6 am, they started the pitocin and my water broke on it's own a short time later. I progressed steadily throughout the day, and when they said I could get the epidural, I waited until the contractions got a little more intense then I got it and took a nap. I felt the need to push around 6 pm and my baby was born at 6:45. Obviously everyone is different, I know someone who just had a baby and she was dilated to a 3, had induced labor for 24 hours then had a c-section because the baby was too big. I had a very easy and good induction experience, hopefully your's will be smooth as well!
  • momof2buggsmomof2buggs
    Seventh Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer
    edited September 2016
    I had Cervidil placed at 7 pm the night before my induction. I was dilated to 2 when they put the Cervidil in. It didn't hurt at all. I did have contractions all night, which kept me from having decent sleep. Also, I had to be on the monitor the entire time, which sucked because you can't really get comfortable with all that crap attached to you.

    By 7 am, I had only dilated an additional centimeter, which was discouraging. They started Pitocin at 10 am, which brings contractions on very quickly. By 10 am, I was begging for an epidural. It all sucked. My labor continued all day, and I finally delivered at 9 pm. The epidural made me itch everywhere, and I kept throwing up. Pushing out my child while I was numb was horrible, too. I do not recommend induction at all, unless absolutely necessary. 

    My next 2 babies were completely opposite of that horrible experience. My labor started at home, and I was able to get through them with no interventions whatsoever. It hurt a lot worse, but it was more efficient. My laboratory were 2 and 5 hours. A far cry from 12 with my induction.
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