June 14, 2011 10:17 AM   Subscribe

Does not going into spontaneous labor with my first pregnancy indicate that I will likely not go into spontaneous labor with my next pregnancy? In other words: will I be induced again?

I've heard a lot of anecdotal evidence that it doesn't and everyone says "each pregnancy is different", but I'm looking for real data.

I was induced at 42 weeks and my due date was correct. Almost no dilation on my own.

Related: are there any indicators that a person might not go into labor spontaneously / are there any corollaries?
posted by kristymcj to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
IANAD, but it sounds like your previous due date WAS wrong.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:27 AM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Well I was induced with both my kids, 1st one at 41w3d and second at 42w exactly...both with pitocin after the water-filled catheter (balloon) didn't do diddly-squat to dilate me! Your mileage may vary.
posted by ramix at 10:33 AM on June 14, 2011

I was induced with both girls, one at 10 days "late" and another one 7 days "late". No signs of labor with the first and only small signs with the second. There is a tale of a woman in my hometown who went 45 weeks. I'm not sure what to think about that!
posted by dawkins_7 at 10:56 AM on June 14, 2011

Anecdotally, every pregnancy is different - but your cervix is still the same cervix. The women I know who have gone late once went late again with their second babies. Your cervix may be hardwired not to ripen on its own, making an induction a second time likely.

But hey - it's babies. Anything could happen. One thing that does tend to be true is that subsequent labors are almost always shorter than the first - but as for the timing of the labor? That's between your fetus and your cervix to work out.
posted by sonika at 11:24 AM on June 14, 2011

Induced with first, went into labor on my own, earlier with numbers 2 & 3. First kid was posterior - maybe a factor? Who knows?
posted by leslies at 11:30 AM on June 14, 2011

The primary risk factors that I'm seeing in multiple studies are obesity, advanced maternal age, race, and having never given birth. Obviously, obesity, race, and age aren't likely to change from one pregnancy to the next.

Here is an abstract that specifically addresses your question about previous postterm pregnancies, independent of race. It says this:

"Mothers with an initial postterm birth were at increased risk for postterm birth (OR, 1.88; 95% CI, 1.79-1.97) in subsequent pregnancies, independent of race."

Of course that's just one study.

IANAD, but it sounds like your previous due date WAS wrong.

Based on...what?
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:31 AM on June 14, 2011

[folks, please keep this to helpful data the OP might not have and not the percentages which the OP can get on her own.]
posted by jessamyn at 11:51 AM on June 14, 2011

kristymcj, it would really help to know more about you, because the (unsatisfactory, I know) answer to your question is: it depends.

Only about 5-10% of all babies are born post-term, which is defined as post-42 weeks, as you were when you were induced. The reason why it happens at 42 weeks is because not all mothers-to-be can pinpoint the date of conception exactly (okay, some moms actually really suck at this), and so most of the time the first day of the last menstrual period and measurements of the uterus are used to calculate due date. So that two weeks allows for a little leeway in making sure the labor isn't induced early.

But there are certain factors that increase the odds of having a post-term pregnancy:

If this is your first ever pregnancy, you are more likely to go post-term (your experience).
However, if you have had previous post-term pregnancies, you are also more likely (sorry).
Genetic factors seem to play into this:
If overdue pregnancies run in your family, you are more likely to go over 40 weeks.
If you were a post-term baby yourself, the likelihood is greater that your babies will be, too.
Obesity in the mother-to-be appears to also increase the risk of post-term pregnancy.

Every pregnancy IS different, and again a lot depends on calculating the conception date and due date. If you have long or irregular periods, that can be difficult.
posted by misha at 12:32 PM on June 14, 2011

I can't say whether you'd need to be induced again, but if it looks like you might need to be induced (you're 41 weeks+ with no dilation, etc.), there are many natural ways to encourage your body to go into labor that you could try before going to the hospital for pitocin. Walking and sex are two that come to mind that could possibly help but don't have negative side effects. Also, you could try drinking raspberry leaf tea, which is supposed to help tone your uterus for labor, or evening primrose oil, which is supposed to help ripen the cervix.
posted by zorrine at 5:14 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

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