Besides my own practice I still work with two of my preceptors. One of them is a master herbalist and has all of her clients take a labor prep herb starting at 35 weeks. It contains red raspberry, black or blue cohosh, blessed thistle etc. Here are two examples:
She (and many other local midwives) claim that it leads to shorter labors, less bleeding, and fewer over due mamas.
The other midwife I work with firmly believes that except for rare circumstances that our bodies do not need herbs to have a baby. She found in her practice that the formula caused more prodomal labor and more bleeding. So she quit using it. I am curious if any of you use such a formula and what your thoughts are.
Homeschooling, midwifery mom to 4 beautiful blessings(8,6,4,1)
Wow I've never heard cohash in any amount recommended during pregnancy (except when already postdates or in labor). Dried Nettle and Red Raspberry leaf though, my midwife was on board with completely. Even using Evening Primrose Oil is a little debatable but generally thought to be good in the last weeks.
What are these midwives' philosophies regarding overdue mothers? Is midwife #1 uncomfortable with 41-42 week gestations?
I do not regularly recommend something like this. If someone insisted on taking it, that would be up to them. However, I feel the vast majority of women will go into labor just fine without any herbal assistance.
Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.
No neither midwife have any issues with a post dates mom that is what I find so interesting. It really seems to be a local thing but the midwife that uses the 5 week formula is quick to blame any problems (PPH, pretem labor, over due etc.) on the fact that my other preceptor doesn't use it. Any one else have experience?
Homeschooling, midwifery mom to 4 beautiful blessings(8,6,4,1)
A couple of the midwives I work with use the Gentle Birth tincture, I think it is by Mountain Momma. It seems quite effective and helpful. I often recommend it to clients.
Also over the years I have had 2 very disturbing siezure situations with moms who took freshly made blends both containing lobelia, the first baby i didnt know which herb or if it was the herbs but when it happened more recently to an herbalist mom's baby. And i said i am concerned about the combo she was taking. she stopped the blend and the baby stopped having eyerolling seizure activity... Well she was having hard after pains and took lobelia seperately and her baby started having the eye rolling again and had an apnea event, when we met at the hospital and I inquired about herbs she told me about the lobelia... So now I associate lobelia with potential dangerous overdose and seizure symptoms for babies of moms who take it. lobelia in general is only tolerated in very small doses 5-15 drops of tincture at a time for an adult and they will usually be induced to vomiting with exposure to an over dose but a baby's exposure is what ever passes thru mom's blood stream into baby via placenta or milk. The dose could be overy high and vomiting wont get rid of it.. Btw when the mom stopped taking the lobelia he didnt have another problem and they found nothing in the hospital he is over 5 now and fine and the other years ago he is almost 30 and has been fine since so... Transient but serious effects. And something I will NEVER recommend to a mom to take while pregnant.
With that being said in the same way that we recommend vitamins, I would recommend certain nourishing plants or even a taylored formula for a particular mom, specifically moms who never use any family planning/birth control and have several kids already.They often need a boost/tonic. Lots of times young first time moms need healthier eating and could probably be supported by a tonic but are not showing the same levels of wear and tear. so the majority of herbs or foods I would recommend a mom to specifically eat are going to be nourishers and not things that cause uterine contractions, and we are not using them to make a shorter birth or a painless birth. So if you give everyone the same thing how do you know it does anything?
My for instance I guess would be myself, I cannot drink red raspberry leaf tea, it is too astringent for me, and when I have drank it post partum it csused my bleeding to increase, from pale almost done back to bright red... I have had a few clients with similar reactions so I tend to recommend 1 thing at a time and mix a blend for an individual once we know they are good with all the parts.
Another example, one mom always gets UTI as early almost like a sign of pregnancy, for her, happened nearly every pregnancy, well we know that cranberry or blueberry work best as a preventives, so she takes it all the time at about the time she could get pregnant, and if she knows she is pregnant she may start drinking blueberry smoothies everyday. Works for her...but I wouldnt tell every mom to do this all the time KWIM?
I agree with many points brought up. Any recommendations should be tailored to the individual. I do not think our bodies require herbal supplementation to birth and I think it sets a bad tone to blanketly recommend that every woman needs them. This to me is not different than many of the comments made in traditional prenatal care that start a woman on a path of self-doubt.
I would feel the same, but the reality is that malnourishment has become such a serious problem for Americans it seems prudent to encourage anything that will help mothers birth well naturally.
im in the let labour happen naturally camp. There is no proof any of those things work, and why risk interupting what your body knows better?
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