It’s a question I’ve heard so many times, both from women who follow me on social media, and those who embark on a course with me.
My answer is multi layered, as like most things with birth, it very much depends on both your mindset & the decisions you make in pregnancy.
I say it depends on your mindset because if you have in your mind “This *bad/unwanted/scary* thing happens to the women in my family when we birth…” - it’s pretty likely you can make that a self fulfilling prophecy.
When we store tension like this up in our minds, and inevitably in our bodies, it accumulates throughout your pregnancy so that by the time you are nearing your ‘due date’, you actually prevent yourself going into labour.
Your body is incredibly clever. Particularly when it comes to birth. Birth works - but when your body senses FEAR (coming from your mind & your worry about being induced) your body literally shuts down the labour hormones.
It stops labour starting, because it thinks there is an imminent, physical threat. Like a lion, or bear at the door - because your body hasnt actually evolved since cave lady times.
Except the wolves at your door are wearing a white coat and telling you your body is defunct…
This would apply to ANY ’inherited’ birth fear. Perhaps its not induction. Perhaps it’s that all the women in your family have long labours, or need an epidural, or forceps to birth their baby.
Different ‘problems’ same outcome.
If you believe it runs in the famil, and you allow that false belief to run unchallenged, chances are you’ll end up adding to the family ‘stats’.
What I would suggest is instead of looking to the births your Mother had, or possibly even your Grandmother… their births were likely sabotaged in the same way many womens are now, with over medicalisation and a ‘Too much, too early’ approach to induction. Instead think about the fact that before these women - the women of your lineage birthed naturally, without the ‘help’ of medical professionals . Your very existence is proof of this.
Allow yourself to start to feel this in your bones, your DNA… try and connect to the thought that the women you are a descendant of birthed powerfully, simply, lovingly, naturally.
It’s a question I find fascinating on a personal level, as it’s one which concerned me during my first pregnancy - and which ultimately led me to finding hypnobirthing!
My own mother had been induced ‘first time around’ for a ‘late’ (in commas as there’s no such thing as a late baby…!) and that induction had turned into an unwanted c section. Another close family member then went through the same motions, induction for overdue baby and c section.
It really started playing on my mind. Deep down I really wanted a natural birth, but because ‘bad births’ seemed to run in the family… did that mean I was destined to go through the same birth story…?
The short answer is “No, absolutely not.”
No, I did not end up being induced, or having an unplanned cesarean. Despite the ‘high risk’ sticker on my file - I birthed my healthy baby boy vaginally, with gas & air and not a single tear.
Did I have to do some work to break the beliefs I had that other peoples births had anything to do with mine? YES!
Did I have to unlearn everything I thought I knew about birth, and REALLY learn about how birth works & how to help my body do that? YES!
Did I have to arm myself with an assertive ’No thank you, Ive done my research.’ When induction was offered? YES!
Would I have ended up with an induction and unplanned c section had I NOT done these things. Almost certainly yes...
I ended up having a long labour with Group B Strep. Induction was recommended when my waters broke. My baby NEEDED that longer, gentler natural labour to help him get into position. We had a long ‘pushing‘ stage of labour that was at the threshold of what’s considered ‘normal’.
Had my contractions been stronger, longer & quicker due to the induction drug (very common)… I KNOW our labour would have been too much for our son. Had my uterus been trying to force him out before he’d had time to descend properly and spin himself the right way round… A c section would have been suggested, no doubt.
Unless there is an underlying medical condition which you have inherited from your Mother. No - her birth outcomes do not equal yours. This is your story, take that leading lady position, Mama.
Remember what’s REALLY in your family history, your DNA.