Waiting for your partner to give birth is endless. By week 40 of pregnancy, you and your partner will feel pretty eager to get the waiting over with. And your baby is probably preened for the occasion too. But what if it got stage fright and just won’t make its entrance? What then?
Induction of labor may well be the answer.
Labor induction may not be what your partner is hoping for, but don’t feel alarmed because the baby hasn’t arrived on the timetable. Instead, consider it an introduction to parenting. Babies and children have a habit of not performing as expected. Let’s look at what induction of labor is, what will happen and how you can prepare yourself.
Induction of labor is when you are given medical treatment to start your delivery. Induced labor may be recommended if it would be better for you or your baby for the birth to occur sooner, rather than waiting for labor to start naturally.
Induced labor can be more painful than natural labor. If your partner’s labor is induced, she is more likely to need other interventions to assist with the birth of your baby. She will not be able to move around as much because the baby will be monitored more closely than during natural labor.
So, how can you help your partner?
Try not to panic or to feel pressure about your partner. Being relaxed about it is an excellent thing. Read articles about labor induction or ask your doctor about it. You may wish to do this discreetly so that you don’t worry your partner.
If you are ultimately faced with induction, nothing is unusual about the process. Even if you and your partner have been committed to a “natural birth,” if the baby simply doesn’t come out, a point will arrive when you must accept that continuing the pregnancy might outweigh the risks of induction.
Naturally, you and your partner might feel frustrated that labor has arrived like this. It is perfectly reasonable to acknowledge your disappointment at the reality of a more medicalized and, sometimes, more painful birth.
But remember, it is still an important and beautiful event. You can still be there to provide love and support throughout, even though induction would definitely not have been a part of your birth plan. In fact, if you have a planned induction, you can use it as an opportunity to be thoroughly prepared. This means that you can get everything ready at home while also taking time to help your partner feel as relaxed as possible; think of nice meals, massages, and warm baths!
Induction may not be an ideal experience, but it doesn’t have to be one in which you and your partner feel frightened and powerless. Stay steady, keep calm, show support and take as much control as possible to make the most of it. Your baby will be born, and it is still a celebration!