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Induction at 38 weeks due to IVF? pros and cons?

Hey, looking for some insight really. My consultant advised early induction at 38 weeks simply due to the fact baby was conceived via IVF. Her reasoning was that the NHS have a campaign currently to reduce the number of still births and whilst all babies are precious given this could be our only chance there is evidence to suggest that 38-39 weeks has better chance of a live birth. I’m sorry to be morbid.

My midwife however completely disagrees and says that baby will know when to come and that being induced results in more pain and assisted delivery.

Have any of you been advised similar?

Thanks in advance :-)

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Hi, I’ll be induced next week Monday at 37 weeks due to Cholestasis and honestly I am very relieved. I’ve had a tough time since about 25 weeks so I’m ready for pregnancy to be over and finally meet my baby. Although I don’t have any experience with IVF pregnancies, I do feel that you should definitely take into consideration what both the consultant and midwife are saying but know that ultimately it is your decision. Only do what YOU think it’s best for YOU and YOUR baby. As per the midwife’s comment, I do feel that labour/delivery is painful regardless of medical intervention or not. Also most countries around the world consider 36 weeks full term (myself and my 3 siblings were all born at 36weeks and perfectly healthy). If you feel you’d like to wait the full 40 then that is what you should do otherwise anytime before that is okay too. Goodluck

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Thank you so much for your reply. 🙏🏻 All goes well for you next week. Excitement and nerves I bet 👶 xxxxx

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Congratulations with your new bundle, I would like to ask were you itching with the Cholestasis! My doctor believed I had that while I was pregnant and I was itching so bad! I was induced at 35+4!

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Yes I have been itching since about 23 weeks but I just thought maybe I was reacting to something I ate but it wasn’t until I had a fall at about 25weeks did they find out my liver was slightly inflamed. I’ve been getting my liver function tested every week since then and they’ve only just diagnosed me with cholestasis 2weeks who. I’m at the point where I’m itching so bad I can’t eat properly and sleep is nearly impossible

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Bless your heart , I itched so bad I went through emergency a few times, my skin is still scarred from itching! I couldn't sleep, I didn't like taking Benedryl . I cried so many nights from itching ! I asked what can I do to stop itching! My doctor said have the baby! I started itching at about 7months/28 weeks! That was the worst thing I've ever indured! Itching sent me into labor early! Kept telling my hubby I can't go on with the pregnancy I'm going into labour any day because I was itching so bad! Nothing helped I tried and did everything! 😢😪☹️

This was my first pregnancy , my daughter is so beautiful I'm happy now! After I had the baby I did finally stop itching.

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Bit long but hope this helps...

I agreed to be induced at 38+4 for the same reason. It was a difficult decision to make but there was a fairly large study done that supported early induction and after weighing things up I felt I would go for it as I was already getting quite anxious and there was the added situation that baby was measuring quite large as well (not in itself a reason for induction but enough to make me worried he might get stuck).

So all the pessaries etc that are supposed to ripen your cervix just didn’t really work so they were not able to break my waters. I had a couple of rounds of this with a rest day in between but by the time things had progressed enough for the actual waters breaking I was 39+5 so I ended up going home again to rest and my induction took place at midday on my due date 😂

Once waters had been broken and the drip was up, things progressed fairly quickly and baby was born 11pm the same day. I’ve no natural labour to compare the pain to but I managed it with only hypnobirthing, TENS machine& gas and air. Baby got a bit distressed at the end so did end up with episiotomy & ventouse but I think I’d rather that than tearing.

I’d say my experience was probably about as good as it could have been once things actually got going but I do think maybe I was quite lucky and I think perhaps baby just came when he wanted anyway. When things weren’t working initially I did chat with a different consultant on the ward round as I was obviously worried about stillbirth. She reassured me that the increases found in the studies related to very, very small increases clinically and given that I was otherwise low risk, chances are I’d be fine waiting til 40 weeks anyway.

Not sure if this helps but I think to sum it up, my experience was quite good but I’m not sure how necessary it was before 40 weeks as baby had his own agenda anyway! Feel free to ask anything you like and good luck with whatever you decide xx

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Thank you for your reply :-) sounds like you have a little tinker who doesn’t like being told what to do! You’re right, no matter what the labour process is the end of it is all that matters. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience :-)

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Mine was IVF and I was treated like a normal pregnancy. My little girl arrived 12 days late xx

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Thank you 💓

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I’m currently 36 + 1 and also am getting induced at 38 weeks. I’m welcoming it if I’m honest iv been quite panicky about something going wrong at this last stage x

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Thank you, not long to go now.... 🙏🏻 All goes perfectly xxxx

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I was 40+5 when my son was born and never mentioned to be induced early although ivf pregnancy, treated completely normal.

I think that’s difficult position to be in. I was not told I need to be induced so calmly waited for my time, not sure however what I will do if dr recommended this to me-perhaps agree with him?...but as such I don’t think ivf pregnancies are unusual and if the are developing normally, baby growth is ok and no medical reasons for early delivery why they insist this is a reason for early induction I don’t get it, sorry.

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You’re right, it appears there are different perspectives and advice given which does make it more of a decision to make as opposed to just following doctors orders. Thanks for taking the time to reply :-)

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I’d read a lot about IVF pregnancy’s and going over 40 weeks wasn’t ideal so quite early on said to my consultant if I make it that far I want to be induced and we agreed 38 weeks. However now because of my severe anxiety, il have a sweep at 37 weeks, 37+2 and then be induced at 37+5 both my consultant and midwife agree for me this is the best thing and I’m welcoming getting baby here safely.

I do think it’s a personal choice though as I’ve read many stories on here where IVF baby’s have been born after 40 weeks and are completely healthy x

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Thank you. wishing you a peaceful perfect happy ending to your anxious pregnancy. I am also riddled with anxiety and conflicting messages just makes things a little unecesssrily complaicated. Hope all goes well for you and your bambino xxx

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Thank you, I know that must be so hard having conflicting info. I hope you do what’s best for you and baby and all goes smoothly xx

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Hello! I am an ivf pregnancy and due to my age (41) so being high risk anyway, i was advised last wk they will look to 'get baby out' at 37wks, some of this down to my huge anxiety levels and i'm only 17wks. I will opt for a c section as thats what suits me better, glad to be earlier tbh, just need to get there now! Xx

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I like how you have a plan. A plan can help with anxiety. Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy :-) xxxxx

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They’ve brought forward induction guidelines for everyone now, they won’t let you go over 41 weeks regardless of how you conceived (I don’t think the placenta works as well). I was treated as normal even though it was IVF and baby arrived at 39 weeks exactly anyway, I was booked in for a sweep at 39+5 which I didn’t need. I’d say it’s totally up to you, perhaps you would rather wait until 39 and see if baby arrives naturally and then be induced rather than 38? Or perhaps like others you feel so anxious you just want them here even if it does result in more intervention? Unfortunately I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer and it needs to be whatever you feel comfortable with. If it helps my labour was only 5 1/2hrs with just gas and air and an episiotomy (really not that bad!) 😊 They don’t all need to be bad x

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I’d take your labour :-) if only there was a recipe for success. You’re right there is no ‘right’ answer but I like your idea of waiting even another week and seeing what happens before induction. Will run this past the consultant :-) thank you!

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I had an ivf pregnancy and although my waters spontaneous broke before 38 weeks, at no point did anyone suggest I might have to be induced early.

Did you have any other complications during pregnancy? Are you older? Is the baby measuring big? Can't think why they'd ask this of you otherwise... Also, are you primarily under midwife care or obstetrician?

Obviously I'm not advising against trusting the medical professions, just trying to work out why your experience is so different to mine.

You really want this baby born safe and well, and if someone said to me what your condultant has said I'd most definitely opt for the induction as nothing would stop me getting my baby here safely. But I don't understand why one professional is saying one thing and the other the opposite.

Could you do things in your power to bring on labour naturally? Dates? Curry? Sex? Regular walks? Light exercise?

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Hi, thanks for your reply. No I am 30 and baby is growing normally. Only met consultant at 16 weeks due to ivf this is where she mentioned the campaign to reduce still births. She did say decision is up to me and some women prefer to be treated ‘normally’ but she said it’s their policy to offer early induction to ivf mothers as it is supposedly safer. My midwife said this was not true and so that’s why I’m super baffled. Apparently though midwives often have differing views between themselves and that of consultants. I’m inclined to go with the consultants advice but it’s interesting to hear other ivf Mother’s have not been given this information. 🧐 xxx

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Sounds like your consultant is pushing for this new campaign.

You know I just wouldn't worry about it. You've got a while yet and anything could change in the meantime. Wait until you're further along and then see how you feel. .You'll know how you are in yourself as you get closer to 38 weeks.

It's made me think to be honest. We're not all the same and an average number of weeks just isn't the perfect fit for us all.

Wishing you all the best!

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Thank you! :-)

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I had similar advice due to IVF pregnancy. First time they gave me a sweep and if that didn't work I'd be induced. Sweep got me into labour and gave birth next day. I've seen similar post and I know a sweep doesn't work for everyone but maybe could try tgat first? X

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Thank you. How many weeks were you when you got your sweep? Xxx

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End of my 37 week. Good luck 😊😊 x x

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I had exactly the same advice when I was having my little boy at around 30 weeks, they said the fact it was an IVF baby and I’d had miscarriages (all before 8 weeks) ‘most women in your position want baby here safely’.... I said absolutely not, the pregnancy has been completely healthy and given how much intervention I’ve had over the last few years, I want the delivery to be as natural as possible!

I did end up being induced early though... I had one occasion of reduced movements around 31 weeks and then a fairly large bleed at 33 weeks which did change my view on things a bit. I finished work early and rested.

I was induced at 38+5 and made very little progression. The next day I was only 1-2cm dilated and baby was getting into distress, his heart rate was bouncing all over the place with each contraction. So had a chat with the doctor and agreed to an emergency c section. He was delivered safely and a very healthy 8 pound 9 ounces.

Do you have any risk factors for stillbirth like age, previous losses etc? Are you planning to breastfeed? If you are induced early it can take a little longer for your milk to come in (it did for me, made worse by the fact he was delivered by c section).

One plus to being induced is you know (roughly) what day baby will be born! But every person I know who has been induced early has ended up with a c section, so have a think how you’d manage your recovery if this happened. Sorry for the essay 😂 xxxx

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Thank you for your time and insight. I have no other risk factors as baby is doing we’ll size wise and age wise I’m 30. No complications so far 🙏🏻 But I totally take your point re c section increased possibility. I don’t have any family near by so after 2 weeks paternity I would be on my own so recovery would be tough. I suppose no matter what we try and plan/avoid what will be will be. Take care xxx

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You’re right - just go with it and take it all in, it goes by so quickly. Makes you wonder why IVF in particular would be targeted for induction doesn’t it? Maybe in general IVF mums are a little older (I was only 31 so wasn’t age for me either!) good luck hun you will be fine xx

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My daughter is the result of ICSI and I was induced at 39 weeks because of this. To be honest, I struggled to manage anxiety during my pregnancy and welcomed the offer of induction. I had a pessary at 7pm and delivered my daughter the next morning just before 10am. I know not everybody’s experiences are like this but I just wanted to let you know that my birth experience was a positive one. Good luck with whatever you decide xx

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Sounds like you were blessed with a straight forward induction :-) congratulations and thank you for your reply! Xxx

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I’m getting induced due to ivf however they have said it will likely be around my due date, no earlier unless any complications x

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My little girl now 2 1/2 was IVF and I was a week late having her, I had a sweep and I came into labour that night. Although not a smooth birth due to the size of her and my small frame , she came c section in the end but no talk of being induced early. She was a very healthy 8Ib 5oz. I am currently pregnant now at 20 weeks (also IVF but ICSI) and no one has suggested early induction. I am however allowed to opt for a c section should the baby be a little larger again, but at the moment is looking to be average size. However I will be induced at 40 weeks if I go full term because of my age (42), no other reason.

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Ah I see. Thanks for your feedback and insight. Hope all goes smoothly for delivery of baby number 2 :-) xxxx

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I am 34+4 at the moment as a result of ICSI. At my 12 week appointment with the consultant he said they would not allow me to go over my due date. He said in a small number of asssisted pregnancies, the placenta starts to break down at term. I have a consultant appointment booked for 38 weeks where she said we will discuss options. I think I will go with what they say although really dont want to be induced, but could insist on not being induced then need to in the end if baby doesn't come before 41 weeks.

Good luck with your decision and delivery!

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Thank you for your experience. My review is at 36 weeks which is 3 weeks away. Hope all goes perfectly for you xxxxx

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None of the consultants I saw considered ivf to be a reason to induce early. They were more worried about my age (40) and were keen to induce at 40 weeks because of that. Babies are always late in my family so I pushed to go to 40+5 which is the average date first babies arrive. I still had to be induced and it took three days as baby wasn’t ready so she arrived at exactly 41 weeks. I was on aspirin to support my placenta from 12 weeks and had scans each month up to 36 weeks because of my age and it being an ivf pregnancy.

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My consultant originally wanted to induce at 37 weeks but since the pregnancy has been fairly smooth I’m going in tomorrow at 38+6. He said that the placenta can begin to fail in ivf pregnancies towards the end and drew a survival graph as you near term. Since I am also 43 I am also more at risk of there being problems.

To be honest I feel so uncomfortable now and can’t wait to meet my little girl that I’m happy to not be pregnant anymore!

X

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Thank you! 🙏🏻 Hope you have a positive birth 💓💓💓

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I didn’t get induced and was treated as a normal pregnancy my little boy arrived 40+4 xx

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Mmm interesting, I’m 34 weeks and 40 yrs old.

I’m being recommend to be induced solely due to age and not because it’s ivf.

Even though I was 39 at ivf conception.

I’m opting to not have induction, I have read so many papers on this.

This site is really good , my midwife recommended it and she doesn’t think induction is a good thing.

sarawickham.com/?s=Induction

Or

evidencebasedbirth.com/evid...

Most consultants are quoting this one paper, which states there is an increase in still born if you go to 41 weeks. But they do not look at wether the mother had other conditions wrong with them such as hypertension and diabetes etc.

You also have to remember that induction carries risks too... for our hospital 40% of induction ended in c section.....and 25% forcep or ventous delivery.

I’m fit and well and want to try and have a natural delivery, less stress for me and baby!

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Thank you for your perspective. I am going to do more reading up on those links. My midwife also disagrees. I’m looking forward to discussing it further with my consultant at my 36 week appointment. Hope all goes well for us both 🙏🏻.

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