January 2023 Moms

Induction at 39 weeks research

Has anyone read the research on 39 week induction and thinking it’s something you want to do or absolutely not?

Re: Induction at 39 weeks research

  • I got induced with my daughter due to medical reasons (gestational diabetes) at 38 weeks.  I would highly recommend against it - it took 4 days to get me to go into labor, and I ended up being in the hospital for a week by the time she arrived and we got discharged.  If your doctor suggests induction, ask why it's necessary.  Also, ask what would happen if the induction doesn't take. If the answer is anything other than 'you won't leave the hospital without a baby in arms', don't do it! (Some doctors will try an induction, and if you don't go into labor, they'll send you home to try again in a week). 
    That all being said, if you're opting for induction for mental health reasons, then that's a viable option.  If you're just trying to get the baby out sooner, then please be patient! Labor will be much easier and less likely to end with a c-section if your body is ready for labor and you go into labor on your own.  
  • So generally, I’m a big fan of going into spontaneous labor. However, there are also risks of being pregnant longer. If you are interested in an induction at 39 weeks for elective reasons, I would have your provider do a cervical exam the day before. If my cervix and baby were any less than 2/80/-1, I’d be like “never mind, some other time.” No way would I do an elective induction starting at 0/60/-3. I work in L&D and I’ve seen way too many doctors convince their patient they are “failure to progress” after 14 hours. Like, duh, cuz their cervix/body wasn’t ready.
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  • I had an elective 39-week induction with my second baby in 2019. It was a positive experience- very low stress and rather easy, especially compared to my first. The balloon was the worst part. Rest was easy and progressed smoothly and relatively (for me) quickly. I was nervous and hesitant but had a good experience. Better than my first which was spontaneous labor. Hope that helps!
  • I have read some research that had suggested elective inductions may increase chances for a c-section and all that comes with that surgery.. bc, as one already suggested, your body may be forced to do something it is not ready for yet. That being said, I had both my babies at 39 weeks.. induced although technically I was in pre-term labor for weeks before and dilated to a 5/4 respectfully at the time of the hospital admission. With my first, it resulted in an emergency c-section. My second, my doctor just broke my water and I had a quick, healthy vbac within hours but again my body was already in active labor so to speak. 
  • It’s been a few years since I looked at the research but I know when I was pregnant with DS there was a study indicating specifically that pregnant people 35 and up who were induced at 39 weeks were less likely to have a c-section and one complication that I can’t remember now. My OB and I discussed it and agreed that was the best option for me. DS was measuring 9 lb on our 38w u/s as well.

    My induction was not a traumatic experience but it was ultimately not successful. When I went in to the hospital for scheduled induction I was already 2 cm dilated, baby was in perfect position, and I was having regular contractions (which I could hardly feel though they said they were pretty strong). Despite all this, I progressed to 5 cm and then didn’t progress anymore. After about 22 hours of induction I had a c-section. We had just decided on that course of action when I spiked a fever and DS’s heart rate got high. 

    Having said all that, unless I had gone into labor way early (like maybe 35 weeks) I was not going to have DS vaginally. He was 10 lb at birth, and was the size of an above average newborn by 35w. My immediate family has had little success with vaginal births. In other words, I don’t blame the induction at all, it was my best shot. Unless this baby is small I’m going to have another c-section. If she is small I would be ok trying induction again (the women in my family also don’t go into labor on their own, I was born 4 weeks late).
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