Labor Induction

As I am sitting here working on my microtheme for biology which just happens to be on the medical data supporting the use of castor oil as a labor induction agent. I am truly appalled by some of the things I’ve been reading in mainstream, pop-culture media. The prevailing theme seems to be, “I want to be in charge of when and how this baby comes!” And it can be the family that is demanding to control the birth or the attending physicians OR the midwives! What started out to be research for a science class has turned into an unearthing of some very alarming thought patterns surrounding birth. Just google “labor induction” and your eyes will pop out of your head!  The American College of Obstetrician’s and Gynecologist’s puts out this nifty little pamphlet on labor induction. The only risks they outline for labor induction are as follows:

What Are the Risks?

Although problems seldom occur with labor induction, there can be some complications:

  • Change in fetal heart rate
  • Increased risk of infection to woman and baby
  • The umbilical cord comes out before the baby or is compressed
  • Uterine rupture

What about all of the interventions that come from labor inductions? It is frustrating to read publications from other industrialized countries such as Sweden and the UK where studies clearly show that labor induction needs to be approached carefully and MUCH more rarely than it is here in the states. UGH. The birth of a child is not a dentist appointment. Yet it seems to be scheduled just as cavalierly. Sorry for the rant. I’ll publish my microtheme as soon as I have it finished. I will warn you though, current thinking in the academic world says that in order to call it “supporting evidence” it must come from peer-reviewed sources, and the opinion  must be written by professionals in the field. Since there are few midwifery or holistic journals that qualify, most of my sources are mainstream medical literature. Can you guess what the conclusion will be? 


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