Pregnant women and maternity services are facing an induction epidemic. As medical guidelines include more "at risk" categories, women and our already overwhelmed and under resourced maternity systems are increasingly pressured to induce birth before labour begins spontaneously. Women are deemed to be too large and too old, while babies are estimated to be too big and too overdue. But is 'better-out-than-in' really a safer option than waiting to birth in your own time?
Staggeringly, over a third of all pregnant women have their labour medically induced, and this is accompanied by a tsunami of avoidable medical interventions. Worldwide, this trend is growing at an alarming rate. This is despite both a lack of evidence demonstrating its benefits and a wealth of evidence indicating the significant short- and long-term negative impacts of induction on the health and wellbeing of mothers and their babies.
In this timely book, Dr Sara Wickham demystifies the evidence and highlights the significant discrepancies between guidelines and what we really know about the benefits of supporting women to birth spontaneously. With her renowned ability to make complex issues understandable, her holistic approach and more than twenty-five years' experience as a midwife and researcher, Dr Wickham draws on a wide range of evidence, including the voices of women and practitioners, to answer vital questions such as: How accurate are due dates? Is it really that risky to wait? Does induction make a difference? And, perhaps most importantly, how can we address the induction epidemic?
In Your Own Time is both a masterclass in what the evidence really says about induction of labour and a fascinating insight into how birth has come to be controlled by Western medicine.
"This is such a vitally important book. With her brilliant brain and extensive experience, Dr Sara Wickham has pulled together and clearly interpreted the complex evidence about induction of labour. This book provides clarity about why increasing numbers of women are having their labours induced, and the problems with current guideline recommendations. It also offers suggestions about what we can all do to reclaim the parameters of normal and support women to birth in their own time. Anyone who cares about women and their experiences of birth needs this book." Dr Rachel Reed, midwife and researcher.