37 Weeks!!! Anyone doing anything to try to nudge labour a little early? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 84 Old 08-15-2011, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm 37 weeks now and my midwives told me to go ahead and start trying to "nudge" labour along.  Being I'm a VBAC I've heard, and they agreed, that it's better if labour starts early as opposed to past my due date.  So from now on I'm all about anything natural I can do to encourage this little one to come out.  I saw my chiropractor today and booked a reflexology appointment for Friday.  Tomorrow I'm starting homeopathics and evening primrose oil supplements.  Our heath plan doesn't cover accupuncture so I'm going to leave that for now.  Anyone have any other ideas or suggestions? 

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#2 of 84 Old 08-16-2011, 12:38 AM
 
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I'm going to try Borage or Evening Primrose oil per my midwife to ensure a properly dilated cervix, as I have a family history of dilation issues... plan to use it both orally and vaginally. Other than that, I'm just going to wait and see... I'd to hear what others are doing though.


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#3 of 84 Old 08-16-2011, 05:47 AM
 
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I am a VBAC too and anxious to get in labor before 40 wks because my docs will not induce me and I have had 2 big babies over 10 lbs, one with shoulder dystocia. So it would be nice to get this baby out before he is really chubby.
So how do you use the eve. Primrose vaginally? Like a suppository?
For what it's worth, I have done acupuncture 3 times and it did not help! That was just my experience. Not doing it this time because of the cost.
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#4 of 84 Old 08-16-2011, 06:17 AM
 
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My suggestion? Romance. Prostaglandins & oxytocin courtesy of your husband/partner. As my midwife said, "What gets the baby in can get the baby out." Anecdotal I know, but it seemed to work for us with our second child. Best to you!
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#5 of 84 Old 08-16-2011, 06:41 AM
 
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VBAC here too!  LOL  And you're right... the studies suggest that spontaneous labor at or before 40 weeks results in a successful VBAC more often than spontaneous labor after 41 weeks and/or induced labor at any time.  Since this is my third time through the VBAC process, I've gathered a pretty big list of ideas.  And there is an amazing (archived discussion) resource for non-pharm induction ideas here.

 

Although I've used things like Gentle Birth in the past (an herbal formula you take every day for several weeks leading up to week 40) and know people who have taken PN6 and 5W (similar formulas), this time I'm staying pretty low key.

 

Evening Primrose Oil and/or Borage Oil- both act to ripen the cervix so while they wont start labor, they do get everything set!  And they can be excellent for mamas who have cervical scarring issues since they loosen up the scar tissue as well.  I take them orally 3x day and insert two gel caps as close to the cervix as possible each night as I get into bed.

 

homeopathic caullophylum and cimicifuga.  I start these closer to 40 weeks, again they wont start labor but should get things ready and there is some evidence that they can help maintain labor if augmentation is needed.

 

acupressure- there are two spots that are particularly good (LI4 and SP 6, just google for pictures to help you find them) and I have my dh work those into nightly massages.

 

Red Raspberry Leaf tea- I drink it all day.  Some people feel you should start with one glass a day in the 1st trimester, then 2 a day in the second and 3 a day in the third followed up by a super strong brew right before and during labor.  Personally I like the taste and have drunk it ever since my period started (it's good for menstrual cramps)... I like it hot or cold, with or without sweetener.  But some people really hate the taste and "hide" it in other beverages.  Anyway, around now I start drinking it all the time.  :)

 

cumin tea- plain old off the shelf cumin, one scoop per mug of hot water.  It's a folk remedy sort of thing, and I don't like the taste as much as I like RRL, but I try to drink a few mugs a day once I'm at 39 weeks.

 

pineapple- fresh pineapple is yummy and the bromelian can help with dilation

 

Lots of prostaglandin application, combined with nipple stim and oxytocin release.  Which would be the more formal way of saying "nookie".  The OB I had with my first VBAC actually wrote perscriptions for "more sex" for VBAC mamas, and it's the first thing my current midwife suggested this time round.  LOL  Basically the prostaglandins in semen (oral or cervical application) can ripen the cervix, nipple stimulation can cause uterine contractions, and oxytocin is another "get the show on the road" labor helper that is generated by a happy mama.

 

Visualization- I use the hypnobabies homestudy program and at 37 weeks I start focusing on visualizing my birth, and visualizing that it happens before 40 weeks.  Closer to 40 weeks (say 38-39) I start listening to a few of the "birth day" scripts (designed to be listened to during labor).  Especially the affirmation script.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~

I personally don't think the risks of taking herbal Cohosh (black to ripen the cervix, blue to maintain contractions) is worth it as a VBAC.  I'll take the homeopathic versions, but the actual herb scares me a bit since I'm not fond of the idea of taking anything that can cause major contractions that can't be "undone" (you can stop doing nipple stim for instance, but you can't really "un eat" an herbal tincture).  Same thing with castor oil.  Castor oil works by irritating your intenstines (making you crampy, causing loose stools, etc) in the hopes that this cramping will spread to the uterus and get things going.  It certainly can work, but since it can't be "undone" and since it can cause fetal distress and significant contractions that could compromise a VBAC scar... it's not something I want to try.  I'd rather do an enema (same idea, get the intestines going and maybe the uterus will too, and I've heard that using a labor tea as the enema solution can help too) or eat spicy food (ditto the intestinal irritation, but on a much smaller scale).

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#6 of 84 Old 08-16-2011, 07:36 AM
 
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I've been reading that taking semen orally works better than dtd semen application.  Since this last trimester I have had to swear off sex, its what I'm going to use when dh gets back so we can try to have this babe soon after he gets here.  It will sure make him happy.lol.gif


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#7 of 84 Old 08-16-2011, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have had no sex drive since conception, so this should make DH happy. 

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#8 of 84 Old 08-16-2011, 11:58 AM
 
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I'm taking EPO orally 3 x's a day.  I started with 1 1300mg capsule 3 x's a day, the next week 2 1300 mg capsules 3 x's a day, and next week (36 weeks) max out and maintain at 3 1300 mg capsules 3 x's a day.  I do not do it vaginally as it's supposed to be inserted next to the cervix and if possible, open a capsule and rub the oil onto the cervix and quite frankly, that's just not my cup of tea to really be messing around there much PLUS finding my cervix in the first place at this point is pretty darn near impossible.  So, I don't even bother with that step.  

 

This week I also started taking Gentle Birth Formula.  I've never taken it before, but have taken 5-W in my past two vbac's, which I'm not doing this time since I'm trying out the Gentle Birth stuff instead.  As well as the EPO as described above for both of them.  1st vbac was at 39 weeks 1 day, 2nd vbac was at 40 weeks 4 days.  We did dtd to try to help then too.  I'm also drinking pregnancy tea this time, which I've not done in my past pregnancies.  But, that's about it for me.  


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#9 of 84 Old 08-16-2011, 01:40 PM
 
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I'm taking Dr. Christopher's Birth Prep - not to try to go early, necessarily, but to ease labor once it starts - my midwives say it works well for some people.  But I'm not having a VBAC - not sure if they would recommend that or not.  My other plan to have him around his due date (ish) is to walk as much as possible, but that's harder and harder these days......

 

 

Good luck with everything!!

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#10 of 84 Old 08-16-2011, 02:43 PM
 
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I'll be curious to hear how the Gentle Birth works for you!  I used it last time round and while I did have very minimal PPH, I didn't deliver till 42 weeks and the birth itself was off the charts intense (zero to baby in 4.5 hours) with no "early/gentle" dilation (I'd had a VE several hours before labor started and was closed/posterior/long with nothing going on despite two weeks of prodromal labor).  I filled out their survey and did say I'd recommend it to others since I don't think it caused any harm... but it didn't seem to do any of the advertised stuff!  LOL  However, I used the "non-cohosh" version so maybe the original formula works better?

 

(their ads over the years have claimed it allows moms to get further into labor before they feel discomfort, it smooths out the labor process so that women with fast labors take longer and women with slow labors go faster, it encourages birth at or near 40 weeks, and reduces pph)

 


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#11 of 84 Old 08-16-2011, 04:54 PM
 
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during my first pregnancy i did tons of RRL tea, EPO for several weeks prior to the due date, a massive amount of sex (up until labor started :), acupuncture, and massage...and nothing seemed to happen from any of that. at around 9 days after my due date i was so constipated that i drank some psyllium husk powder (mixed in h20). labor started that night...and i birthed DD 10 days after due date. this time around, i don't know that i'll try any of it! the only thing that seemed like it possibly could have helped was the psyllium...


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#12 of 84 Old 08-16-2011, 05:01 PM
 
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i've been drinking RRL for awhile, but am drinking much more of it now.  it's pretty good iced with maple syrup as a sweetener, and i usually have a couple of hot cups in the evening as well.  started EPO a couple days ago, have been taking 2000 mg orally and 1000 vaginally each day, but might step up the oral dose a bit as time goes on.  would like to have more sex, but not sure BF is on board with that, it's been a bit of an issue lately.  another VBAC mama, who went to 41 1/2 weeks with both my other babies, so hoping to go early this time!  found out today that babe is engaged, which i don't think either of my other kids ever was, so hoping that is a good sign too.  if i can find the right homeopathics here, i will try those as well, though this city is not great selection-wise, and i remember with my last baby i couldn't find them anywhere.


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I've been reading that taking semen orally works better than dtd semen application.  Since this last trimester I have had to swear off sex, its what I'm going to use when dh gets back so we can try to have this babe soon after he gets here.  It will sure make him happy.lol.gif



LOL- hope my husband doesnt catch wind of that trick :)

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LOL- hope my husband doesnt catch wind of that trick :)


Hehe.  I think because digesting it helps break it down, where when you have sex, it doesn't get broken down and used like it would in your intestines.  I'm like that this dh doesn't like it as much as sex, but he'll take anything he can get at this point and for the next 25 days while he's gone he's gettin' nothin' so he'll be very happy when he gets home.

 


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#15 of 84 Old 08-16-2011, 08:42 PM
 
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I"m due end of September, so I'm a little behind most of you, (34 weeks tomorrow), but as soon as I hit 37 weeks I'll be jogging often, using evening primrose oil, and whatever else I can remember to do to bring labor on!

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I am a VBAC too and anxious to get in labor before 40 wks because my docs will not induce me and I have had 2 big babies over 10 lbs, one with shoulder dystocia. So it would be nice to get this baby out before he is really chubby.
So how do you use the eve. Primrose vaginally? Like a suppository?
For what it's worth, I have done acupuncture 3 times and it did not help! That was just my experience. Not doing it this time because of the cost.


In addition to what the other mamas have said about this, my midwife told me to make a pin hole in the gel cap before inserting it. I'm only taking two 1300mg caps orally and one vaginally (as high up there as I can get it) before bed.


Moo.

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#17 of 84 Old 08-17-2011, 12:48 PM
 
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That makes sense-I was thinking some kind of hole in the gel cap would help release the oil!

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#18 of 84 Old 08-17-2011, 02:01 PM
 
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I'm 38 weeks tomorrow, and besides extreme pubis symphysis pain, I'm gestating happily! I'm not interested in bringing labor on any sooner than baby needs:)
I am drinking RRL tea because it really good for me and baby:)


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#19 of 84 Old 08-17-2011, 02:12 PM
 
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I'm only 34 weeks so not in any hurry at all. As I get into my 38th week I will most likely be pretty anxious though as I tend to have pretty big babies and am hopeful that this one will come a bit early as my daughter did. My midwife gave the baby a good feel yesterday and thinks he is big for this point, she thought he felt closer to 5 lbs than 4 as most are.  I am just trying, trying, trying to make really good food choices and keep exercising as my SPD allows. I am tall and thin and husband is extremely muscular/thick so our babies tend to be both tall and thick.

 

My son was 9 lbs, 15 oz at 40 weeks and I just hope not to have to push a baby of that size out again. ;)

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#20 of 84 Old 08-17-2011, 03:05 PM
 
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I'm not doing anything... really. I started with a few oral capsules of EPO, and am suddenly nesting like crazy. My daughter was born at 40 weeks at 9 lbs 3 ounces. I've gained more weight this pregnancy.. not eating quite as well. Hoping for as smooth a birth as last time!

 

I think even the things we can do (other than AROM, that strong essential oil some people eat or sweeps) help things as our bodies do what they want to do.. but don't honestly bring on labour early.. maybe just better when it starts! If you know what I mean. I really must start on the RRL tea today. Will go put on the kettle and make a large batch for the fridge. Sorry if this isn't that coherent.. am rushed.

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#21 of 84 Old 08-17-2011, 06:01 PM
 
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Im not going to anything till Im 37 weeks because I dont want to risk ending up in labor before hand and have the premie rescue squad on my ass, lol! If i can hold off till 37 weeks they will let me do whatever I want at the hospital Im going to. Before that they will be in preterm labor mode and I dont want to risk having her swooshed away to the nicu, no skin to skin, cord cutting delay etc. Next week I will have my 36 week apt and Ill have my cervix checked then and Im willing to bet Im already dilated. My first labor was 6 hours at 40 weeks and my second 2 hours at 37 weeks, so I dont want to push too hard for an early baby. Third babies can be unpredictable so who knows...thinking good thoughts and cant wait for the big day!!!


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#22 of 84 Old 08-17-2011, 07:10 PM
 
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Im not going to anything till Im 37 weeks because I dont want to risk ending up in labor before hand and have the premie rescue squad on my ass, lol! If i can hold off till 37 weeks they will let me do whatever I want at the hospital Im going to. Before that they will be in preterm labor mode and I dont want to risk having her swooshed away to the nicu, no skin to skin, cord cutting delay etc. Next week I will have my 36 week apt and Ill have my cervix checked then and Im willing to bet Im already dilated. My first labor was 6 hours at 40 weeks and my second 2 hours at 37 weeks, so I dont want to push too hard for an early baby. Third babies can be unpredictable so who knows...thinking good thoughts and cant wait for the big day!!!


You have good reason to wait!  LOL  

 

Even with all the stuff I do at the end, my kids have come at 40 weeks 2 days, 39 weeks 1 day, and 40 weeks 4 days!

 


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#23 of 84 Old 08-18-2011, 03:59 AM
 
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This will be my third VBA2C and I went into labor at 39.3 weeks with the last 2 babes.  I do RRL min. 2 cups/day, it's my understanding it's meant to strengthen the uterus, not necessarily induce early labor.  I take EPO 3 orally in the morning and 3 vaginally in the evening, once again just to soften and ripen the cervix for real labor, not to induce early labor.  I walk ALOT!  Every morning for at least 20 minutes and it's a brisk walk.  My husband and I are all over each other :)  Although I would definitely gag with oral insertion of semen! lol So I will NOT be trying that.  Thanks for the tip on a pinhole in the EPO capsules!!  I'll start those at 36 weeks.


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#24 of 84 Old 08-18-2011, 08:41 AM
 
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 it's my understanding it's meant to strengthen the uterus, not necessarily induce early labor.


Yes, I have heard the same from my midwife. Throughout pregnancy she recommends alternating between RRL, oatstraw and nettles but leaning more toward RRL in the final weeks, plus drinking a strong infusion of RRL at the onset of labor. She said it's for toning the uterus so it can be working optimally/at its most efficient.

 

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#25 of 84 Old 08-18-2011, 08:51 AM
 
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I need to get some EPO. I'm 37 weeks today, and I was supposed to start it at 36 weeks. I haven't been very good about drinking RRL tea, either. Yesterday, I did make some RRL and apple juice popsicles for labor. I don't know how much it will really help, but it can't hurt, right?


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#26 of 84 Old 08-18-2011, 09:00 AM
 
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RRL is a "uterine tonic"... it's supposed to encourage the uterine muscles to work properly.  Meaning it's perfect for women at all ages/stages.  It helps the uterus during menstruation, pregnancy, birth, menopause, and with "uterus specific" challenges like prolapse.  But it's kind of like taking calcium for strong bones or something like that... it's not "doing anything to you", it's just providing your body with stuff it needs to work properly (specifically smooth and even muscle contraction of the uterus).  So no... RRL wont "cause labor" but it will hopefully prevent any dystocia caused by the uterus being wonky.

 

Also... a lot of the natural induction tools aren't intended to "start labor", they're mostly ripening agents.  Meaning they prepare the cervix and encourage a smooth entrance into labor.  At best they allow the body to respond to smaller amounts of birth hormones so that labor initiates sooner and goes more smoothly.

 

Where you start to cross the line is with acupuncture, herbal agents like cohosh, irritant/stimulants like castor oil, membrane sweeps, and (ultimately) foley caths and AROM.  Where the goal is not just to encourage the body to do it's own thing but to actually initiate those physical/hormonal changes "for" the body.  And the more active you are in terms of "doing it for the boy" the bigger the risks become.  It's very unlikely that anyone would have a serious reaction to pineapple or RRL (barring allergy), or end up in the hospital due to a long walk or sex (barring extreme athleticism lol), but as you move further along the spectrum towards physical interventions the risks of infection or fetal distress increase.

 

And obviously... make sure you tell your care provider what you're doing or planning on doing.  Herbal allies can interfere with western meds, and specific medical conditions (yours or the babes) can be affected by herbs, acupuncture, and supplements and not always in a good way.

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#27 of 84 Old 08-18-2011, 09:11 AM
 
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Im not going to anything till Im 37 weeks because I dont want to risk ending up in labor before hand and have the premie rescue squad on my ass, lol! If i can hold off till 37 weeks they will let me do whatever I want at the hospital Im going to. Before that they will be in preterm labor mode and I dont want to risk having her swooshed away to the nicu, no skin to skin, cord cutting delay etc. Next week I will have my 36 week apt and Ill have my cervix checked then and Im willing to bet Im already dilated. My first labor was 6 hours at 40 weeks and my second 2 hours at 37 weeks, so I dont want to push too hard for an early baby. Third babies can be unpredictable so who knows...thinking good thoughts and cant wait for the big day!!!


Yeah, I realized I posted that I'd be trying to put myself into labor at 37 weeks... but I don't know what makes me think I'll even make it there! My first labor was 5 hours at 38 weeks, 2nd labor was 3 hours at 36 weeks 6 days, and 3rd was 2.5 hours at 35.5 weeks.

 

I'm now 34 weeks and 1 day. Wonder when this one will show up????

 

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#28 of 84 Old 08-18-2011, 09:14 AM
 
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And a note on RRL... yes, it's for strengthening the uterus! I'm convinced it gave me easy labors... 100% natural, including a 10 pound baby. And believe me, I'm the worlds biggest wimp!

 

 

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#29 of 84 Old 08-18-2011, 10:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CamilleBethany View Post

And a note on RRL... yes, it's for strengthening the uterus! I'm convinced it gave me easy labors... 100% natural, including a 10 pound baby. And believe me, I'm the worlds biggest wimp!

 

 



drink up ladies :)

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Originally Posted by ashleypLC View Post

This will be my third VBA2C and I went into labor at 39.3 weeks with the last 2 babes.  I do RRL min. 2 cups/day, it's my understanding it's meant to strengthen the uterus, not necessarily induce early labor.  I take EPO 3 orally in the morning and 3 vaginally in the evening, once again just to soften and ripen the cervix for real labor, not to induce early labor.  I walk ALOT!  Every morning for at least 20 minutes and it's a brisk walk.  My husband and I are all over each other :)  Although I would definitely gag with oral insertion of semen! lol So I will NOT be trying that.  Thanks for the tip on a pinhole in the EPO capsules!!  I'll start those at 36 weeks.



Does anyone know if not inserting a needle in EPO still works?  Seems they dissolve pretty quickly...

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