Last night, I read an article in the New York Times special Women’s Health section on inducing labor for non-medical reasons.

Yikes! People request inductions?!?! My experience with induction, which I agreed to under much medical pressure, was not good.

Henry was over 2 weeks late; they said the risk was too great to wait for labor to start naturally, that I had to be induced. We reluctantly agreed. The process was long, painful, and tiring. Did I mention it was long? I went into the hospital on Friday evening and Henry was born on Sunday morning. I’ve heard of inductions taking even longer. One of the points the “pro-induction” side makes is that you can be sure your doctor will be available for your delivery. Maybe there’s a slightly greater chance of that, but in my case, it didn’t work that way. Also, they say you have a greater chance of delivering during the day, when your doctor will be more alert, blah, blah, blah. I wanted to shout, “What you have is a greater chance of a c-section!” I didn’t have one, but it supposedly looked like it was heading that way.

I guess my suspicions of the obstetrics community clouded my reading of the article. Doctors want control over the labor process and are willing to increase risks to their patients, both mothers and babies, to get that control. They try to convince us that giving them control makes us safer, but I’ve never seen any data that supports this. Note that I’m not talking about all the amazing medical interventions we are lucky to have when there is a problem! Thank goodness for those and for the doctors that deal with those situations.