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EPO & other natural induction methods

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
has anyone had any luck with Evening Primrose Oil, or cohosh teas, castor oil, or even plain old semen? i'm almost 39 weeks, the MW says i'm "tight as a drum" and only 75% effaced, and she gave me the green light to start with EPO suppositories and encouraged us to have lots of sex; i'm curious if anyone's noticed that these things helped.
post #2 of 12
Near the end, I'd say around 38 weeks I started taking EPO, and upping the activity with dh, I'm not sure if it helped or not. My first check was at 39 weeks and I was 2-3 and 80%, so maybe I figured it couldn't really hurt, however I haven't heard the same about castor oil.
post #3 of 12
I was dialated to a 1 or 2 at 39 weeks and tried upping the activity with dh and considered taking cohash but didn't. It didn't work until week 40 and 3 days "overdue" and I had had prodromal labor that whole week and was beginning to doubt if it would kick into full blown labor. Oh, I was effaced to 50% also.

But when it was really time, dh and I did our thing adn then I hopped into the shower and put the showerhead on my nipples (niple stim) and that kicked it into high gear and I was off and knew the contractions weren't going to stop until the baby was born.

I guess I'm saying that try not to get too frustrated even though it seems like at week 39 it's never going to happen. I was so glad that my body had done that much work over a slow period of time before hand, less work to do later ya know? I was 4 cms dialated when I went into the hospital (just into active labor) and 80% effaced. It'll happen, just give it at least one more week (is this your first?) and if you're already that far along your body will take over. I would try nipple stim with the shower head and dh and when your body is truly ready it'll kick in.
post #4 of 12
EPO and semen work to soften the cervix. It's even better if you add an orgasm for yourself. When your body gets closer to being ready for labor these things could stimulate your body to have contractions. The cohashes are a tricky bunch and should be taken with care. Nipple stimulation also. These last few can cause uncontrolable nasty contractions. I have not experienced them but have heard they are not fun and hard to stay on top of. Beyond the natural contraction. Whatever you try keep tabs with you MW so she knows.

Take care-
post #5 of 12
I would also encourage red raspberry leaf tea. I don't think nipple stim is going to cause uncontrollable contractions, I've never seen that anyhow. It *should* make them stronger, however.

I think EPO is okay. Our practice recommends 1 every morning and night, and also poke a hole in one and insert it vaginally overnight. I have heard that some people recommend 2 every morning and evening. I don't think you can overdose on EPO, and perhaps if your cervix is long and has alot of work to do, you could go ahead and do the two every morn and night.

I would stay away from the cohoshes unless you have a qualitifed practitioner following you with those. They can raise your blood pressure, so if you are already high, they would be contraindicated.

Accupressure is another "induction" method, and there are some homeopathic methods of induction as well.

Check out some Bach remedies. Walnut is usually the one used to help the body and babe move on. It is used for a situation where there is an inability to move on or change. Dosage is 6-8 drops in one ounce distilled water with 1/4 teaspoon vinegar. Take 3-6 drops of this mixture under your tounge every couple hours, or every time you think of the fact that your pregnancy seems to be going long. Take them with affirmations -- ones that you make up seem to work best. Something like "I trust my baby will come when we are both ready." "I am ready to meet my baby!" "I am ready to become a mother." "I am ready to hold and nurse my babe at my breast" "I know I will have a powerful and beautiful labor" etc.

I just learned about the Bach remedies at a recent workshop. The doula/nurse said that her *docs* that she works with use these on a regular basis, and they have seen good success with them. The dosage recommendations are hers.

Hope this helps!
post #6 of 12
"Our practice "

Hi Lori:

What practice are you in? I was told the info about nipple stimulation from a group of doulas in my area.

post #7 of 12
I am a nurse at an independent birthing center, staffed by nurses, CNMs, an ARNP, and a family practice doc.
post #8 of 12
My understanding is that evening primrose oil, semen, orgasm, nipple stimulation, etc. and so forth will help your body get ready but won't tip you over the edge if you're not ready.

Castor oil, on the other hand, can induce labor by causing contractions of the large intestine while your bowels empty, triggering contractions of the uterus. In other words, not a gentle method that will only help things along, but a real intervention and one that there are mixed feelings on (from my research). I wouldn't do this one myself unless I were facing a chemical induction in the hospital the next day. My friend did castor oil twice and regretted it both times after the fact, although it did trigger her labors.

Is this your first baby? You know that first babies are, on average, 8 days late, right? My baby was almost 2 weeks overdue, and it was really, really tough waiting, so I feel your pain. If it were me, I would definitely do the EPO/sex thing, try acupuncture/acupressure, but stay away from the cohoshes and castor oil.

Hang in there, your baby will come soon, when s/he's ready!
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
i am definitely grateful for all your responses -- thanks for taking the time!

i'm anxious, there's no doubt about it. part of the problem is that i've been pregnant since week 4 -- i knew practically upon conception that i was pregnant, so i've been in this "condition" for what feels like an eternity! plus, i've stopped working and i'm having a hard time sleeping and money's tight...sigh. i'm ready for a distraction but i'm trying to keep it together. i do know that first babies are usually late, so i'm trying not to get ahead of myself...practicing lots of patience for the baby's wants and needs, putting my own discomfort on the back burner for now.

the only thing i've done is added an EPO twice a day, both orally and vaginally, and we've upped our sex. i don't want to take castor oil unless i'm actually late, just because i can't stand the idea of getting painful diarrhea with no end result (which happened to two women i know -- they had horrible diarrhea and neither of them went into labor); i haven't tried any nipple stimulation yet.

i am still curious to hear what other women have tried, though.
post #10 of 12
My dear, you need a project. Something to keep your mind off of time.

Can you take up knitting? Or try to read all four Harry Potter books, then add the Hobbitt and the Lord of the Rings trilogy to boot? Or can you find some other project, something that you might not actually finish. Sew a baby quilt. Go through those BOXES of pictures you have in the basement and actually organize them into albums (that is something that *I* certainly need to do). Take your mind off of your due date...it is only an approximation anyhow.

Most of all, though, enjoy this special time you have with your baby. This is the LAST time it will be just you and your child. Right now you ahve the most intimate relationship in the world. It is like this special secret....sure, other people can *see* you pregnant, but *you* are the only one who can feel all your child's little movements; the hiccups, the turns, the little tickles. You will NEVER AGAIN have your child all to your self like this. What I wouldn't give to have one day of being pregnant again, to feel my daughters' little flip flops, to have the secret, sweet smile that all moms have when their babies communicate with them! I beg you to savor these last few days or weeks.
post #11 of 12
there are SEVERAL Essential oils that when used to scent the room cna bring on labor (and be soothign to you once you get there too) but you need to make certain they are therapy grade essential oils so they act as a benifit and nto a harm. Frontier, Amrita, Avalon, Aura Cacia and a few others off the top of my head are excellent quality. THe followign scents can help to stimulate labor:

Clary Sage
Sweet Thyme
post #12 of 12
don't want to take castor oil unless i'm actually late, just because i can't stand the idea of getting painful diarrhea with no end result (which happened to two women i know -- they had horrible diarrhea and neither of them went into labor);
if you are late, it might not be the best option either as there is speculation that it can also make the baby pass meconium and that can be bad.

my midwife doesnt use castor oil at all.
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