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Thoughts on "natural" induction?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I am 35w (this will be my first) and starting to think about different eventualities that I might have to prepare for in birth. I talked to my midwife about when they would want to induce if I didn't go into labor on my own, and she said probably 42w depending on whether there were indications of a problem or other factors to take into account. However, I had some high blood pressure readings early in the pregnancy, so I'm starting to try and prepare for what might happen if my blood pressure were to start going up sometime in the coming weeks. (Throughout the middle of the pregnancy it was 110/70 or lower, now running 120/80 or so.) I know there is really nothing you can do to effectively induce labor when your body isn't ready, but assuming I made it to some sort of point where I was "almost" ready to go when they wanted to induce, is there some sort of hierarchy of home/natural induction methods that tends to work best or be most effective most often? I am thinking no... seems like people tend to try them all and nothing works if the body isn't ready anyway... but thought I would ask and see if people had experience or opinions.


I'm not worried about my care providers pushing me into induction before it is necessary--I trust my midwife enough that if she does recommend induction, I believe it will be for a good medical reason. I don't think she would do it because she had an unfounded suspicion that the baby was "too big" or something. I don't so much trust my body, though. It's hard to be fat and pregnant and not feel that the other shoe is bound to drop at some point.


Also my friend was just induced at 41w (and I don't know the details, so it's quite likely that there was a good medical reason) so it got me thinking about this topic. Of course she tried everything (RRL tea, sex, walks, nipple stimulation, pretty much everything except castor oil) and nothing worked, so it's hard to know if any of this is worth doing.


I almost feel weirder about induction than about a C-section. I don't understand why such a huge percentage of labors seem to need to be induced nowadays. It just doesn't make sense to me.

post #2 of 8
In my opinion? One word. Liability.

That being said, I've got a planned induction at 39 weeks because that is the standard for diabetics and I couldn't find a local provider to take on my care who felt otherwise. The hope is that I'll go into labor before but I feel doubtful about that happening based on my history of carrying to term so i'll be trying all the home methods myself. Everything you listed as well as accupressure. I don't feel confident any if them will work but they don't seem any more harmful than pitocin, so why not try?

With my second son I was induced at 39 weeks after having some BP issues. I was already at 2 cm and effaced to some degree I don't recall. They broke my water, I walked, and that was enough to start labor so I never ended up on pitocin, which is what concerns me the most. I'm hoping that if I make it that far it'll be a similarly smooth process.
post #3 of 8

First are you certain of your dates, because unless you have perfect 28 day cycles or chart to know when you ovulated, then you can be off by days or even weeks. (My last baby was 44+ by lmp, 41+ by late ultrasound, and 39ish by gestational appearance at birth.) Even early ultrasound, which is more accurate than late, can be off by a week. So I would take that into account. And if you are certain it is *very* unlikely that you would go beyond 42 weeks. 



I agree if it comes down to it then 'natural ' attempts are certainly better than going straight for the pit, but as you know they really are only useful if you are ready. Knowing your Bishops score before you try anything would be useful. 


#2 tried all sorts of herbs, walking, sex, etc...did nothing.

#3 arom when I was 4cm but not in labor, worked

#4 enema, worked

#5 tried enema again,nothing, had membraines sweeped 2 or 3 times, worked the last time


I would start with the easiest things...walk, sex, eat spicy foods ( they just make me puke but you never know),red raspberry leaf tea if you can stomach it (it always made me sick), then maybe some stronger herbs (some recommend doing these from 34 weeks on for every woman but I would not as many are contraindicated until term). Somewhere in there sweeping the membraines might be okay but make sure you are clear about not wanting your water broke. It can also be painful and cause a lot of nonproductive cramping and some bleeding. 

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot for these thoughts, guys. That is a good point about stripping and AROM... probably not "first resorts," but if they are going to induce me anyway and I feel I am "close," maybe worth asking about before the pit. I will look into the other herbal options too, and I had forgotten about acupressure.


My friend had cervidil (I believe) but never any pitocin, and ended up with very strong contractions one on top of each other with no rest, and eventually the baby started to show signs of distress (she dilated really, really fast... everything just seemed to have been "sped up") and she had to have a c-section. Of course I have no idea if the cervidil actually caused this or if that was just the way it was going to go regardless. I have heard other stories where people are really pleased with cervidil and it works well for them.


I am pretty sure of my dates. I was temping and had the temp shift on day 15. So I guess my "due date" is technically off by one day, and the temp shift doesn't happen on the day you ovulate 100% of the time, but the estimate overall shouldn't be off by more than 2-3 days at most in my case.


I'm trying to think positively... as of this a.m. my bp was 114/70... but I keep hearing about how fast preeclampsia can progress so I want to think about this ahead of time.


Thanks again!! Shinyredstar, I hope you are able to have a similar process this time as you had with your son. It sounds like 39w was not wildly early for you so I really hope that happens again, or that you go into labor on your own.

post #5 of 8

A friend of the family who is an ob/gyn but not one I would ever want to go to once had a conversation with me about spontaneous labor. Bearing in mind that I do not consider him to be natural childbirth "friendly", I thought this was a particularly observant comment. He said that "Type A" mothers don't go into spontaneous labor. The women he sees who go into labor on their own are much less stressed about delivery. (And I don't think he allows that many patients to go into labor on their own.)


On several levels, I'm not sure how I managed to relax enough to go into labor with DS. I had definitely made peace with birth (as much as I could before ever having experienced it). I pretty much had my "to do's" taken care of and I had pushed out my EDD in my mind so I was not expecting anything when it happened.


I wish I could translate some of that feeling to my baby positioning to just relax and one day discover the baby has turned...but so far that is not the case.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

This is actually one of my major concerns... you have probably noticed that I am not the most relaxed person. If relaxation and a good frame of mind is necessary to go into labor, I'll still be pregnant at Halloween, LOL.

post #7 of 8
I think it depends on your cervix.. mine is easily irritated and I think just looking at it sideways would make me go into labor. DTD, membrane sweeps, catheter, and castor oil all seem popular.
post #8 of 8

HI - I did use cervadil after learning my bishop score was 7 and induction was favorable.  They inserted it on a string like a tampon (I was already at 3cm).  Once my water broke and I was at 5cm, they removed it, so it did not stay in. 


I would think that taking herbs, teas, acupuncture is OK as long as you feel good about it.  These might be what your body needs at the time.  It might not help go early, but it might help from being later. 

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