Due to the induction epidemic in maternity care today, it is rare for a woman to experience pregnancy past 42 weeks today. Doctors frequently push for medical induction at 40 or 41 weeks. Most women are unaware that according to childbirth researcher Henci Goer, "There is absolutely no study, no evidence whatsoever, that routine induction at any gestational age improves perinatal outcomes", which I just read in the new issue of Midwifery Today magazine in the article on Postmaturity by Samara Ferrara, along with "As long as there are no signs of fetal distress, it is best for baby to stay in the womb". By the way - my article "Birthtellers: Healing Birth Through Conscious Storytelling" is also published in the new issue of Midwifery Today, Issue 99 - so check it out!
So we are contentedly waiting for baby to decide their natural timing to be born. We are calm and assured as baby has a strong heart and is still dancing daily in my womb. I am feeling good and enjoying some pleasurably pregnant days - as much of my early pregnancy was spent with extended nausea. Sure, my body isn't used to carrying around this much extra weight, I have few clothes that fit (or shoes), and rolling over in bed is challenging. I've nested over and over again, every time I clean the house I declare that I want to have the baby before it gets messy again. I've prepared all kinds of yummy foods for postpartum - and then eaten them all. I've been hiking, swimming, dancing, hooping, walking, meditating, doing yoga, napping, and more. I've rewashed and reorganized all the baby clothes, cloth diapers, and gear and made origami mobiles to hang from the ceiling. I've tried homeopathy, flower essences, acupressure, and massage. Natural remedies may work to induce labor if the baby if ready, however I believe nature has a divine timing and babies know when the right time for them to be born is. I've declared out loud to the baby and the Universe that it was time to be born NOW - and I'm still waiting. I have learned to surrender and enjoy the massive creative surge of energy I've been experiencing (interspersed with generous naps and occasional tears).
The bountiful pregnancy creative energy has allowed me to tap into the potential of this waiting period and channel my creative energy into some great projects. I've written an e-book on Mudras for Mamas now available on the Birth Emissary site, plus another e-book to be shared in the future. I've added lots of new audio and video content to the Conscious Birth Emissary Training course online. My husband Jahsah and I are also excited to have launched our new website Conscious Leap. It's been amazing the creative downloads, ideas, and insights coming through! We are excited for this new transformation of our lives!
I think that it can be challenging for many women to escape the worry and fear that the culture of birth brings and to wait for a naturally timed labor without giving in to the pressure and threats of medical staff. However honoring the natural timing of the initiation of labor is extremely important in impacting the overall outcome of the birth. Medical induction immediately turns the birth into a medical event, necessitating a constant IV, electronic fetal heart rate monitoring, restricted movement, and dramatically increasing the risks of fetal distress, cesarean section, and much more. I have found that I have been able to maintain calm and patience through choosing to surround myself with only positive support people who respect my choices and instinctive birthing. I've had friends share some great birthing stories of being 43 and even 44 weeks pregnant!
I also find great personal calm and strength through the practices of art, journaling, dance, movement, prayer, and music. It is interesting that these creative acts of art, dance, music, and prayer are all ways to connect with the Source of Creativity within us. These states of mindful creativity and appreciation create states of flow that induce brainwaves changes similar to meditation and to what women experience in natural childbirth. The creative arts have been profoundly supportive of my pregnancy experience and are facilitating a blooming of ideas as well as inner strength. I highly recommend for pregnant mamas in the third trimester and late pregnancy to take the time to connect with what inspires you creatively and invigorates your spirit - whether it's creating art, making music, dancing to music, meditation, yoga, singing, walking in nature, or swimming - and to create a sanctuary around you in which you receive only positive support and inspiration.
Our baby will be born soon, when they are ready. We are waiting with great anticipation!
I Was Pregnant for 10 Months - The Guardian, UK
Postdates: Separating Fact from Fiction - The Unnecesarean
Elective Induction of Labor by Henci Goer