This is the forum that led me to Gentle Birth, I'd never heard of it before - http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,15472.0.html
5-w has - Black cohosh root, Squaw vine herb,Dong quai root, Butcher’s broom root,Red raspberry leaves
PN-6 has - Squaw vine Herb, Blessed Thistle Herb, Black Cohosh Root, Pennyroyal Herb, False Unicorn Root, Red Raspberry Leaf, and Lobelia Herb
So they are very similiar. They just tone the uterus and they have RRL in them. the 5-w you take the last 5 weeks, pn6 you take the last 6 weeks.
I went back and forth on whether or not I wanted to do the 5-w again, I've used it with my last 2 pregnancies. However, i decided not to this time because I'm going to do more and other herbal stuff, including the gentle birth formula and I didn't want to overdo the herbs to the point of it being a bad thing. I've not done pregnancy teas before, I'm not much of a tea drinker, although in the summer I do like a good iced tea. This time I'm making my own pregnancy tea, and just adding some black tea to it for taste. I don't like mint that is in a lot of the preboxed pregnancy teas, so making it myself is working out much better. I get the herbs in bulk from Frontier as I've been doing a coop for them for the past 5 years. Anyway, the tea is RRL, Oatstraw, Alfalfa, and Nettles, then I add the black tea for flavor and it's actually pretty good! Sweetened with local raw honey.
I'll also do EPO orally as I've done in my previous pregnancies. I don't KNOW for a fact that it's helpful one way or the other, but it's certainly not hurtful to me as I'm not overly sensitive and have early babies, so I figure I might as well do it. At 37 weeks I take 1300mg three times a day, double that at 38 weeks, triple at 39 weeks. You CAN do it internally around the time of your due date to help soften the cervix, but you HAVE to get it right up against your cervix in order for it to do any good. It has a prostiglandin like quality similar to semen. Semen would be better, but it's not a whole lot of fun to get the male deposit at that point in pregnancy. :) Nor is it easy to find your cervix to insert EPO capsules near it. So, you can take it or leave that part of it. If you DO do it, wear a panty liner or something because you'll be leaking oil. Insert it before bed. I've also heard breaking open a capsule and rubbing it on your cervix can be helpful as well. Again though, finding your cervix can be a task.
Other things I'll be doing this time that I've not done before are the Gentle Birth Formula, which is why I'm skipping the 5-W, I thought doing both might be overdoing the herbs, along with the tea. Smooth transitions formula in labor, and Afterease for after birth pains. Also taking Passion Flower capsules to help regulate blood pressure.
Vitamin C capsules (they help keep your bag of waters in tact longer and prevent premature rupture...I took it last time and my water broke 1 minute before baby was born), a garlic complex and probiotics to help keep a good gut flora and prevent GBS, as well as boost immunity. Oh, and my Cal/Mag supplement. Yeah, that's a lot of pills and herbs. :)