Christmas baby rush

The original title of this article was, "Pregnant mums rush Christmas babies". This is an interesting title as it's not really the Mums who rush their babies' births, but rather the doctors who authorise and perform the inductions. Health practitioners are not required to perform interventions that are not in the best interests of their patients. So perhaps the article should read, "Doctors rush Christmas babies". That doesn't sound as good as a headline, does it?

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MUMS-to-be are having their babies induced so they can be home in time for Christmas.

Women due around Christmas often asked to be induced early so they could spend the festive day with their other children, obstetrician Dr Samantha Hargreaves said.

But obstetrician Dr David O'Callaghan said social inductions increased danger for mother and baby by possibly triggering interventions.

Inductions raised the likelihood of epidurals, forcep and vacuum deliveries, caesarean sections and a slower recovery for the mother.

"The subsequent longer labour is more stressful on the baby, and the use of forceps is more stressful on the baby," he said.

Richmond mum Michelle Godsall had been planning to be induced on Monday because she did not want to risk giving birth on Christmas Day, but she went into labour early yesterday afternoon.

... She was not aware of any added risks, but understood her labour could be more intense, but she decided it would be worth the extra pain.

In other words, her care providers did not explain the risks of induction.

Northcote mum Sara McCluskey, 38, who is booked in for an induction ... said women should be able to have babies how they wanted.

"It's not a lifestyle choice. I want to be able to spend Christmas with my 2 1/2-year-old daughter, who is just beginning to understand what it's all about," Ms McCluskey said.

If that is not a lifestyle choice, what is?

Dr Hargreaves said the surge in demand for inductions was a well recognised trend ... She induced women only at 38 1/2 weeks or more into their pregnancy to avoid problems, such as being forced into having a caesarean.

It seems she too has not been informed of the risks, and that some 50% of first time Mums who are induced will actually end up having the caesarean she had hoped an induction would avoid.

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