The other day I listened as a young 38-week pregnant mama wished that she would go into labor TODAY. Well…she did more than a wish, she asked me if we would induce her. She’s tired of being pregnant. Her feet hurt. Her back hurts. Sex isn’t comfortable right now. Heck, even simple things are hard, like washing dishes or shaving legs and girlie parts, so I get it completely. But I gotta tell you that my answer is NO. Just being “over” this stage simply is not enough reason to forcefully evacuate your baby from his/her safe growing nest. We understand that you are tired and your feet hurt, but your midwives also know a few things about labor that you don’t.
We understand that when your body is ready, labor works like it’s supposed to. Your body puts the baby in the right position for the descent. There are hormones that are released to the baby that help the lungs readily accept oxygen. There is a blast of Microbiome released into the vaginal vault that will “seed” the baby’s system for a lifetime of gut health. The baby’s Vitamin K levels even change. Your entire pelvic muscles soften so baby can pass through that tight vagina!!
In other words, your body and your baby’s body are programmed to do this! But if you make this happen forcefully, chemically even, it’s likely to be a harder time than if your body did it on its own.
Most first time moms don’t go into labor naturally until past the 41-week mark. Please, have some patience and some faith in how it all works. We know you are excited, too! But let’s let your body do its job.
I’d love to hear your opinions about this. And if you’ve had a baby already, when did you go into labor? Was it close to your due date? How long was your labor? Tell us your story. It might help some other mama to hear it!