The score ranges from 0-13, with a higher score indicating a higher chance of success (although this is still not a guarantee). Check out this page which can help you calculate your bishop’s score. It also takes into account previous pregnancies, pregnancy complications, baby’s position, cervical changes and gestation of the pregnancy.
4. Have a Birth Plan & a Doula
Doulas have been shown to lower the risk of c/section by 60-80%. A doula is a birth coach and assistant who can help provide mental, emotional and physical support during pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
A birth plan is a great way to know your options. It’s often better to have a birth “flow chart” which includes preferred options for any complications that occur, instead of just your ‘perfect birth’. Here is a guide on writing birth plans which includes many things that mothers may not be aware of.
5. Be Involved in the Induction Process
There are a range of common medical induction methods and the decisions on which method to use can vary based on your doctor, your cervix and your gestation. Some methods have higher risks or are not as effective, so discuss with your medical care provider using less invasive or less risky methods first. Make sure you do your own research and make an informed decision.
Some of the most common methods include:
- Natural Induction
- Stretch & Sweep
- Cytotec (Pill) Misoprostol (Banned in many countries due to risk)
- Prostglandin gel such as Cervidil
- Cervical balloon – transcervical foley
- AROM (Artificial Rupture of Membranes)
- Pitocin/syntoconin drip
6. Know Your Time Limits
Once an induction method has been started, you will be ‘on the clock’. This means that if it doesn’t work within a set period of time, your medical care provider will move onto another method.
Find out how long you can go before another method is used and if there is any leeway based on how well you and baby are progressing.
Use the BRAN method to decide if you need another intervention right now, or if you can wait:
- Not Now But Maybe Later
Remember that it is your legal right to refuse any medical procedure or request, or ask for a compromise.
7. Get Off The Bed
Laying on the back or in a semi-reclining position to labor & birth increases risks of painful, long labors, tearing, assisted birth and a stuck baby.
If possible, laboring and birthing while in an upright position such as standing, squatting, kneeling or on all fours will have a huge range of benefits.1 | 2 | 3