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What to do if labor doesn't ever start on its own?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hey all... I don't know if it is possible or not, but has anyone thought about what to do if labor never starts on its own? Like what if you're 42/43 weeks and you have not enough fluid? What then?? I mean w/avoiding pitocin completely??? I don't EVER want pitocin... but what if that happens? What are the choices, other than all the natural things we've all talked about? Is it possible that a woman's body could actually never start labor on its own??

post #2 of 17
It will

But - if you want to encourage labor once you are, say, 41 weeks (and you are SURE your dates are correct - not just b/c of ultrasound but because you know when you conceived).

Sperm contains oxytocin - you can have sex and it will help.

Orgasm encourages contractions

Nipple stimulation causes a release of oxytocin and triggers contractions

Under the care of a midwife, Black and Blue Cohosh trigger labor

There are more I'm forgetting, I'm sure - but walking always did it for me
post #3 of 17

Great question

I have wondered about that, but both my babies came early, Cathryn came at about 37/38 weeks, and PJ came at 36 weeks, with no time spent in the NICU....

I have read about some women going over 40 weeks, but all ended up being induced... I wonder at that point if the Dr would insist on it?
post #4 of 17
I guarantee you, even without drugs your pregnancy will not go on forever.

I don't know your situation, but I know that "low amniotic fluid" and "deteriorating placenta" are terms that doctors make up to scare women into accepting Pitocin. If it wasn't safe for a fetus to remain in the uterus, the body would get it out of there. If the baby isn't ready to come out yet, the body keeps it in.

If you have a midwife, I'm sure she will be glad to check the heart rate if you are worried. If you don't have one, you may be able to check it yourself with certain devices. If you are seeing an OB, if you refuse to be induced they will want to check the heart rate anyway. Be sure you can hear it yourself, so you can count the heartbeats and won't have to just accept the answer they give you. (Also, true fetal distress is not confirmed by heart rate alone, and different practices have different "acceptable" heart rates...)

Are you sure of your due date? U/S is not very accurate at predicting it.

If you really believe you have a problem with amniotic fluid, you could try walking, sex, breast pump, and other non-invasive, natural means of induction.
post #5 of 17
I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever go into labor!!

My EDD was 8-21...I am pretty sure that was off though. Between nursing and having really irregular periods, it's hard to say for sure when I'm due.

Anyway, like the other women said, I'm sure your body will go into labor. It's like a cruel joke, I'm going to be pregnant forever!!

I actually had a dream that I made it into the Guiness Book of Records for having a pregnancy that was two terms!!!! 18 mos...

So...besides the usual sex, nipple stim., walking, (maybe castor oil???)...and we both know blue cohosh doesn't do anything. I think waiting is the best option.
post #6 of 17
This and other info is in the book Spiritual Midwifery. I drank a tablespoon of castor oil with orange juice around noon. Then another an hour later. You can do it up to three times on the hour or just put two tablespoons in some scrambled eggs instead according to SM. Be prepared to empty your bowels or possibly throw up. I was in labor and feeling fine by three. I went walking for awhile and had my ds at home with three midwifes, my dd's, dh, my sister and her boyfriend, my brother and his best friend at 2am 9lbs 4 ozs. It was a beautiful celebration. I was having contractions for two weeks before I had my ds. I tried the castor oil after a week and it didn't work. My midwife told me it will only work if the baby is ready.

(Not in SM.) Also do not use blue and black cohosh unless you are under the instructions of a midwife. It can be very dangerous. I was told by Whole Foods one of them (I can't remember but I think it's black) is no longer sold in CA because women were using it to abort and induce. I think it causes severe hemorraging if used improperly. Best wishes with your labor and birth and all the rest. You will be in my thoughts.
post #7 of 17
My dh and I made love a couple of times the two days before so it could have been the combo.
post #8 of 17
There are no documented cases of women being pregnant forever before pitocin came along

A fellow homebirthing friend of mine carried both of her babies to 43 weeks. She knows she could never go to an OB because he would never let her go that late but that is just normal for her body. She is now expecting #3 and expects to go to 43 weeks.

post #9 of 17
I'm feeling naive, but is that true that the whole "the placenta will rot if it stays in too long" bit is made up by doctors?

I read that Sheila Kitzinger said that 7 out of 10 women go past their due date, and of those 9 out of 10 women don't go any more than 10 days over.

It will happen
post #10 of 17
Many women have gone on to 44 weeks or more. You will not be pregnant forever Birthlove has a bunch of stories about "10 month mamas". Some studies show that a womans gestation may have something to do with her genetic background, for instance women of european decent on average have 41 week pregnancies. The 40 week mark simply the AVERAGE length. Of course I am hoping not to go another 4 weeks, but it does happen
Laurie (40 weeks)
post #11 of 17
Actually the average is 41 weeks 1 day. If 7 out of 10 women are going over.... well heck, that tells me there is a serious problem with how these alleged "due dates" are being calculated.

I am very wary of castor oil. It can cause a lot of meconium on the waters. (Basically it forces you to flush your bowels and stands a good chance of doing the same to babe.)
post #12 of 17
do lots of raspberries...ya know, like thppppttt ina may has 2-3 pages on doing this to help your jaw relax, and when your jaw relaxes, your sphincters relax (including your cervix). i've been doing it for two days now and i swear i can feel more pressure on my cervix now. i think its also helping me let go of my inhibitions in some ways. not that i'm that reserved or prudish, but if i can walk around my neighborhood blowing raspberries, then i think i won't be so timid about hooting and moaning once i'm at the birth center in labor.
post #13 of 17
I read about an australian midwife who told of 1 woman she had delivered that went 30 days past her due date. She also said a healthy woman's placenta is fine for a few weeks past due date.

I am carrying a HUGE baby and don't think I can birth a 12 lber in a hospital so I am praying I go into labor soon. (EDD 9/9/03) I tried acupuncture, herbs, sex, and evening primrose all last week and it did nothing, my cervix hasn't effaced or dialated in any way... I wish I lived in Europe where they are far more advanced on the whole natural birthing process.

Back on topic now...
Women's bodies will always begin labor on their own it's just when the baby is ready and has found the best birthing position. I just hope it happens before my little guy gets to a world record size!!
post #14 of 17
I found this thread interesting and even though a few days late I had to comment.

I am in no means trying to scare you because this is really really abnormal BUT yes, it is possible in rare cases where the body does not go into labor. I worked with one lady whose mother did not go into labor with her first baby and it died before birth. Now she could have been lying to me or the doctor could have been lying to her but bodies do sometimes go wrong. Nature is not perfect.

Also my mom was 21 days late with my sister and the placenta had started to turn green which the doctor said meant that it was starting to calcifi. Once again, maybe the doctor was lying to her (I never specifically asked if she saw it herself, I just assumed). But my mom KNOWS exactly when she got pregnant so she KNOWS exactly how far along she was, so it definitely was not an error in timing.
post #15 of 17
her placenta started to turn green? was the baby dead? I don't think this is completely accurate, though of course I wasn't there.

Babies also die in utero BEFORE the due date. Let's not forget it's not about due dates. In a healthy mom that doesn't smoke and eats well, her placenta will continue to support a pregnancy.

It is VERY RARE that a woman will not go into labor ever. We just never see women going late - so we don't see affirmation of this. I hear women say this all the time - my body never goes into labor, so I was induced at 41 or 42 weeks.

The research shows that there are not any issues with postdates until 43 COMPLETED WEEKS. Check out Henci Goers book, The Thinking WOmans Guide to a Better Birth.

I agree with Greaseball in her post - low amniotic fluid is highly subjective based on baby's position and the interpretation of the radiologist. There is a decrease in amniotic fluid at the end of pregnancy. I think this is a wise move on the body's part - and a healthy placenta will continue to help create all the fluid the baby needs.

Now, fear of litigation is something that is NOT related to due dates - at least not scientifically.

It used to be WAY more common for women to go 43/44 weeks. Doctors 50 years ago would not induce until after 43 weeks. Today, we have doctors routinely inducing "just because they can" at 39 weeks.

This is tragic. This induction epidemic is terrifying at best.
post #16 of 17
I started labor by walking allllll day at the mall with my IL's doing their shopping, then I got home and every time I had a BH cx I squatted really low until I could feel the pressure on my cervix. When that cx went away I played with my nipples until I got another one, then squatted again. Within 2 hours I was in full blown labor.

post #17 of 17
This is a bit OT, but I had a decayed placenta with my 2nd birth, a HVBAC.

Dd was born at 37 weeks. No doubt, b/c the placenta was no longer supporting her, so whoosh, she hightailed it out of there, to get some good old mama's milk intead.

The placenta was not green! :LOL It was "friable," that is spongy, and it did not come out right away. I was bleeding too much, so my misguided midwive's asst pulled on my cord and only a small piece of placenta came out! My midwife went in to get it and couldn't find my cervix!

Meanwhile the not too good asst called 911.

Then the other midwife went in and got it out. This was not painful. In fact, I didn't feel a thing.

I did not use this team for my 2nd HBAC (even tho the asst apologized profusely, citing nightmares about her mistake). I should have just stood up.

I believe my placenta broke down b/c I was very ill with bronchitis during my entire 2nd trimester.
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