All the things I wish I'd known about induced labour 1 year ago

All the things I wish I'd known about induced labour

When Hypnobirthing practitioner Emily McElarney asked whether inducing labour shifted the goal posts of birth, our readers had a lot to say on the matter. 

A powerful thread developed on the HerFamily.ie Facebook page, where it quickly became clear that women's experiences with induction in Ireland varied wildly, from perfectly positive to scary and downright miserable.

Here's a snapshot of the stories that were shared:

"I got induced a week early as baby was measuring bigger than my first which gave me a third degree tear. It worked after the first gel. The pains were more intense and it sped labour up but, all in all, it ended amazingly and with only a tiny tear." - Caoimhe Lyons

"I was 10 days overdue, had the lot, sweep, gel, Syntocinon drip and water break. It was the worst experience of my life not including the birth. Forceps and an episiotomy later, he was born, all 10lbs, 6ozs of him. I was told afterwards it should have been a section! They're obsessed with "natural" but there wasn't anything natural about it!" -Sharon Saleh

"I was induced on my first and third children. On my second I went myself and I can honestly say that she was a breeze to have. The induced births felt fast and forced and were a lot more painful." - Eve Morrissey 

"My last two were induced due to very fast labours on my first two. They just broke my waters and out they came. It was no hassle and much better than going naturally... and ending up having them at the side of a road!" - Sally Cullen

"I was induced on all of my three children. The drip was used on my two boys and gels on my daughter. All births were completely different from each other." - Emma Coogan

"I was induced due to low fluid and small baby. Got one lot of gel and that kicked off labour. Very fast but intense and extremely painful with no breaks in contractions. The whole labour and delivery was over in less than 2 hours. I would avoid induction where possible again." - Laura Ryan

"I have three kids, was only induced on one. I thought it was fantastic. I've gone between 10-14 days over on them. For me the induction was the easiest. It was great to know you are booking in and on your way to have your baby. The contractions were fast and intense but no worse than other two labours." - Donna Ní Cheallaigh

"Induction is very hard, it made me sick and I had diarrhoea with it too, which is not ideal when you're in labour and have to pop in and out of the shower to maintain your dignity." -Triona Tuohy

"I was induced at 40+12 on my first and I hated it. It was just not a positive experience at all. Ended up needing epidural, drip and ventouse. I was booked in for induction with my second, again at 40+12, but turned away from the hospital because the labour ward was too full... baby arrived by himself that night, natural birth on the midwife-led unit. Not planning any more but if I do have another I will be refusing induction unless absolutely necessary, as letting it happen was so much better for me." - Rachel O'Farrell

"I was induced on my second due to having pre-eclampsia. I had gel at 10am and within 15 minutes I was contracting. Spent all day walking around and had the baby at6.30pm that evening with a bit of help from the suction cup.... all went great." - Caz Moody

"I was induced due to my waters breaking two weeks early and no labour after two days. I was induced at 6pm, the rest, waters and contractions, started at 9pm and baby was there by 11pm. Quite intense but I was able to manage on gas and air." - Marah Weissbrich

"Got induced by acupuncture on my first by choice so I wouldn't go past my due date. Six hours afterwards I got contractions but it was 32 hours after being induced before baby made an appearance. Didn't get induced this time and baby arrived  four days early and labour was 4/5 hours. -Shakera Marchel

"I was induced two weeks early due to low fluid... three horrible (and I do mean horrible) days of labour later I went from 4cm to born in seven minutes. If baby isn't in distress I wouldn't do it again! Being pregnant (as awful as that was) was easier!" - Meabh Bolger

"I went into labour two days before my due date, but 32 hours later I was 4cms. They broke my water and it didn't speed it up so they decided to give me Syntocinon, which sped things up but I was still 42hrs in labour. It was long but worth it in the end. I wish they induced me, at least that way the labour goes faster and you get it over with. 42hrs in labour is no joke. Anyone I have known who were induced had their baby within 12hrs." - Caroline O'Keeffe

"I was induced at 37 weeks and was three days in full labour until I was sectioned. It was too early, he wasn't ready to make his appearance." - Linda Corcoran

"I had been warned that as it was my first labour it could result in a C-section etc but it turned out to be a perfect text book induction. I was able to use gas and air as a pain reliever and being able to walk around the hospital helped too." - Shimona Maloney

"I had a sweep on my due date, then was induced at 41 weeks. I felt uninformed about the process as all the hospital give is a leaflet about it. I had the gel, membranes ruptured and then the drip. I would neither advise it nor repeat it." -Sarah O'Connor

"I was induced because my waters broke early. It was my first experience of labour so I don't know if it was any worse than usual but I couldn't catch my breath. It was fast and furious! Baby came two -and-a-half hours later though, so I guess it was quick." -Joanne Marie Burke

"I was induced on my due date on my second child. It was an easier labour than my first child, which was a natural labour and traumatised me! Contractions were way more intense, granted, but I knew I was being induced and my mam had warned me about the pain levels so I felt I was prepared." -Jennifer Scanlan

"I loved being induced. I was induced on my second at 41+4, waters were broken at 9.30am, then started on the drip and she was born at 1pm - no complications at all. It was way better than my first 36-hour natural labour." - Lindsey O'Byrne

Full HSE recommendations on labour induction are available here.