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OB Prescribed Evening Primrose/Raspberry Leaf Tea. Anyone else taking this?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'm 38w 1d right now, and my cervix is locked up tight like Fort Knox. I'm getting a little concerned about the lack of progress, especially since my OB thinks that, if I go to 41 weeks I could end up with a 9-pound baby. I guess I'm lucky that my OB is progressive and is really OK with the hands-off route (she even recommended my doula to me, who is AWESOME), but I'd never heard of an OB prescribing evening primrose oil three times daily and drinking raspberry leaf tea. 

 

I'm totally committed to not being induced, but the idea of a 9-pounder scares the ever-loving crap out of me. I was a big baby (8 lbs 11.5 oz) and my husband was, too (8 lbs 6 oz), but 9-plus pounds? EEEK!

 

Anyone out there heard of this helping the cervix thin and dilate? Anyone taking it right now, or have any other herbal remedies to share?

post #2 of 14

Those are both very common herbal applications for late pregnancy. RRL is a uterine tonic that helps your contractions be more effective, and EPO contains prostaglandins that help the cervix thin out and dilate.  I've been doing both since 37 weeks (I'm 39w2d now) and my cervix was dilated about 2cm this past Tuesday, and 60% effaced. They are safe and effective ways to prepare your body for labor. Think of it as removing the road blocks. These things won't necessarily make you go into labor sooner, but they can make it easier to have your baby when the time is right.

 

Don't worry about how big your baby is. Your body won't grow a baby larger than it can birth. I'm expecting a large baby as well; I weighed 10 lbs 4 oz and my husband weighed 8 lbs 11 oz. But all that really matters is the head size anyway - the body usually slips out easily, so if the baby fattens up its arms and legs, it probably won't matter. The baby's weight will usually plateau around 40 weeks anyway - it probably won't get much bigger.

 

You should also know that there is no good way to know how large your baby is before you give birth - both ultrasounds estimates and an experienced physician/midwife measuring and palpating your belly are only accurate within a 2 lb range - that's plus or minus a whole pound on either side (and that's only if they are good at it - sometimes they are even less accurate). My sister-in-law was induced at 38.5 weeks because they thought her baby weighed 8lbs already (probably scared because of our family history), and her baby really only weighed 6lbs 14oz. The baby was clearly not ready to be born - she acted like a preemie and had all kinds of trouble with feeding, and they ended up putting her on formula and switching it a bunch of times. She also now has asthma, which is a big risk facing babies who were induced because those final days in the womb are crucial for lung maturity.

 

Be thankful you have a physician who is recommending natural remedies! If you make it to 40 or 41 weeks, you may want to ask your physician to strip your membranes, which also releases prostaglandins. In the mean time, have sex (without condoms - the semen contains prostaglandins) as much as possible if you are comfortable doing so, and exercise.

post #3 of 14
Here is a good thread with lots of info on RRL tea and EPO:
http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1311103/when-do-we-start-rrl-tea-and-epo
post #4 of 14

I'm closed up too (always am) and my MW prescribed sex- so loads of sex in last 24 hours and in coming days in in order for us, I've already been drinking RRL tea entire pregnancy, my Dh was a huge baby as was his father and I'm a bit worried too although both midwives feel baby is only 8 pounds or so but said I could be hiding a 9 pounder. EPO I plan to do today as well.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

I wish I had known to drink the RRL earlier! It's not foul tasting, and I drink iced tea anyway! I was reading the thread LivingSky posted and some suggested to do the EPO vaginally. Not so sure I'm comfortable with that, considering the oil is in a gelcap. :/

post #6 of 14
My midwife told me to start taking the EPO vaginally (in the gelcap) as of 37 weeks, so I started yesterday. I was a bit concerned but I put it in before bed and didn't notice anything besides a bit of oily feeling after I wiped when I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I've been taking it orally for a few weeks.
post #7 of 14

Just from what I've heard (seeing I'm a 1st timer and all) is that it's easier to birth the bigger ones.  Who knows why but mommas all over this board have said that.  My MW tells me that no matter what the size of the body babies generally have 13-15" circumference heads and that doesn't really change (unless there is encephaly or something going on up there).

 

I love my RRL teas.  I'm not super consistent with it but have been sipping on it on and off for most of the pregnancy.  Have really considered EPO yet.  Sex is not super comfortable for me.....hasn't been this whole pg (poor DH but that's another story)


Our friend just delivered a 9.5lb baby without any difficulty.  I will admit that I had a mild panic attack when I saw the size of him YIKES but I guess it wasn't all that bad.

Have faith in your body.  You can do it!

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HawaiianBlesing View Post


Our friend just delivered a 9.5lb baby without any difficulty.  I will admit that I had a mild panic attack when I saw the size of him YIKES but I guess it wasn't all that bad.
 



OK, this makes me feel a lot better. I guess I'll just keep doing yoga, squats, EPO and RRL tea and just hope for the best.

 

Just from drinking the tea for two days, I've noticed my BH contractions get more intense. It's pretty crazy how Mother Nature works!

post #9 of 14

I've been wondering about the EPO also.  Sex has been extremely uncomfortable for me since the 2nd trimester of this pregnancy....so EPO seems like an alternative.

 

What is the dose that your OB/midwife suggested?

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoEngland View Post

I wish I had known to drink the RRL earlier! It's not foul tasting, and I drink iced tea anyway! I was reading the thread LivingSky posted and some suggested to do the EPO vaginally. Not so sure I'm comfortable with that, considering the oil is in a gelcap. :/


You can take it orally, but it will be most effective vaginally. It Really helps Soften and ripen your cervix! You can insert the entire gelcap in there at night when you're going to bed. It will disolve completely. I reccomend the 1000mg.

 

 I have been taking EPO by mouth my entire pregnancy. 1300mg. It's rumored to help with mood swings and I have had major ups and downs this pregnancy. I think it helped with that, I'd hate to know how bad I'd be without it! But for the last week I have been using it Vaginally. 1300mg. At my 36 & 6 Day Appointment, after only using it one night, My midwife was shocked to see that I was 70% effaced, VERY SOFT 1 Centimeter Dilated and the baby's head was super low too. (0 Station) Not sure if that was the EPO's Doing or if it's just because this is my 3rd time. But I used it the last 2 times too and have nothing but positive things to say about it!

 

 I have been taking RRL Tea on and off this entire pregnancy. (Went through bouts of it making me nauseous) It is SOOOO GOOD FOR YOU! I didn't use it with my first, and had a lot of post partum bleeding and gushing. A LOT! But I did use it with my 2nd and the bleeding was SO different and lessened!!! Like a period instead of a slaughtered Pig! It makes your uterus more toned and stronger so you contract better therefore clamping down the uterus better after birth. And My 2nd's Labor was cut in HALF! Not sure if that was cuz she was my 2nd or because the RRLtea was so effective but I'm sure it didn't hurt!

 

 Neither will Induce Labor unless you are ready, but are terrific for preparing your body and getting ready for labor!

post #11 of 14

Where do I buy EPO?

post #12 of 14
I buy EPO at Walmart smile.gif
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamasmith View Post

Where do I buy EPO?



Since you live in Austin, I'd try Sunflower Market or Natural Grocers. They have the good organic stuff for pretty cheap.

post #14 of 14

Good idea!  thanks
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoEngland View Post





Since you live in Austin, I'd try Sunflower Market or Natural Grocers. They have the good organic stuff for pretty cheap.



 

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