An induction checklist can help you remember the simple things that could make a huge difference to how well your induction works as well as how comfortable and prepared you are.
All of these help to put you at the centre of it all – to focus on what you might need to be more comfortable and to give your body what it needs to work and help labour progress.
Do you understand what is happening?
Do you need more information or reassurance about why you are being induced, about the induction process or about what to expect at the hospital?
Your labour needs to start in hospital and this process can take a while – pack items to keep you distracted, entertained, relaxed and comfortable.
Make the space yours
Whether you are in a private room or a shared induction bay, make your space comfortable for you so you can feel relaxed, comfortable and secure.
You don’t have to stay on the bed – you can wander, use your birth ball, a chair, whatever you need to be more comfortable and at ease.
Can you be more relaxed?
You are waiting for labour to start and get going which can be a nerve-racking, anxious time. Patience is key, along with being as relaxed and as calm as possible so you can encourage your labour to start. Keep an eye on how you are feeling.
Are you using your breathing?
If you are feeling tense, panicky or nervous, focus on your breathing to slow your heart rate, to give you something positive to focus on and to get you back in control.
Can you eat?
You don’t have to eat a lot but nibbling on fruit and healthy snacks can help give you more energy. If you are waiting for pessaries to work, try to eat as normal, just as you would in early labour.
Are you going to the loo regularly?
Going to the loo often will keep your bladder empty and you will be more comfortable. This can help your baby to move into a better position for labour and birth.
Are you drinking enough water?
Hospitals can be warm and it can also be easy to forget to drink enough. If you have a bottle of water with you, that help you keep track.
Are you resting?
Whether you are waiting for contractions to start, or they are now coming and you want to be upright, rest is still important – conserve your energy. While waiting or with mild contractions, it can be helpful to balance pottering about and sitting/lying down as this stage could last for a few hours.
Do you need to ask questions?
If you don’t know what is going on, what your options are or if something is suggested and you don’t know what it is, why you need it, or it doesn’t feel right – ask for more information. What are the Benefits of doing it? What are the risks? Are there any alternatives? What’s wrong with continuing as you are?
Can you focus on what you need?
No-one knows how long induction will take to work – it can be effective and fast but it can also take time. Try not to compare yourself to other women who may be sharing your induction space – it is a totally unique experience.
When your contractions get going…
Try to be instinctive and work with your contractions – move, breathe, be upright, accept them. Move onto the labour & birth checklist to focus on your needs as labour intensifies and you move into a delivery suite.
It can seem like this is a lot to remember but it’s really just about being guided by your instincts and by your body. And you’ve got this induction checklist to help you.
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Always seek medical support if you are concerned about yourself or your baby. Even if it is just a feeling that something isn’t right.