NICE Guidelines support the choice to not be induced
The NICE Guidelines linked above state that ‘expectant management’ is as valid an option at 41 or 42 weeks as being induced. This includes offering two appointments a week for the baby to be monitored and checked, but this is not obligatory. Induction is simply one option of several available to you.
Caesarean is another option!
If you are reaching the end of pregnancy and don’t want to wait for spontaneous labour for any reason, induction isn’t the only option. If there is a medical reason that your pregnancy should end before labour starts on its own, induction is often the only thing that’s offered, but you can ask for a caesarean if you would prefer. Your rights to choose a caesarean are detailed in the AIMS Guide to Your Rights in Pregnancy and Birth.
If you choose induction, you can choose your options
Take a look at our article on your decisions during induction, because it’s really important to know that you have choices all the way through if you make the decision to be induced!
‘Due dates’ are really just a guess
Our ‘due date’ is set at the day we reach 40 weeks of pregnancy. This is entirely made up and has no scientific validity. It is just a date that is somewhere between the most common time to give birth – between 37 and 42 weeks. The due date could have been set at 41 weeks, or 40 weeks and 3 days and mean exactly the same thing (nothing!).
We are not overdue once we’re over 40 weeks, we’re simply pregnant for longer than 40 weeks, just as the week before we were pregnant for longer than 39 weeks.
The options that you have if your pregnancy lasts longer than average is to simply wait for spontaneous labour, wait for labour but have your baby monitored a couple of times a week, be induced or have a caesarean. If you decide to decline the offer of induction but later change your mind, you can do so.
Induction is a serious medical intervention, but that doesn’t mean that the doctors and the hospital take over your body and your rights to decide. You can choose whether or not you wish to have an induction and you don’t need to persuade anyone else to agree with you! Any medical intervention is an offer – no matter how it’s presented to you – and the only person who can decide whether or not to go ahead with it is you.