Ingredients to 5W labor formula???? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 22 Old 12-08-2003, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone here know the exact ingredients to the labor formula, I think it's called 5W??????
I have a friend who is due in a week and really wants to know...
Any other recipes you can share of labor teas would also be helpful.
I know I used a tea made from red raspberry, blue cohosh, yarrow, valerian, and possibly something else, but I do not remember the exact recipe and can't seem to find it anywhere.
TIA
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#2 of 22 Old 12-08-2003, 04:39 PM
 
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From jeanniesherbs.com

5W The herbs used in this combination are Black Cohosh, Butcher's Broom, Dong Quai, Red Raspberry, and Squawvine.

Black Cohosh has historically been used for many types of female problems. These problems include amenorrhea, menopausal symptoms, depression, and hot flashes. It has also been used for centuries for difficult pregnancies and childbirth. Black Cohosh has estrogen like properties. It also reduces inflammation and pain. The tannic acids in Black Cohosh act as a diuretic and expectorant.

Butcher's Broom acts on veins to reduce the permeability of the capillaries and varicose veins. It also helps to reduce water retention in the legs and ankles. These actions help to treat circulatory problems, bruising, edema, hemorrhoids, and phlebitis.

Dong Quai has pain relieving qualities as well as laxative, sedative, and antibacterial qualities. Dong Quai has been used to help promote blood flow to the female reproductive organs. It also helps to regulate contractions of the uterus. Dong Quai has been historically used to treat PMS, anemia, and postpartum healing.

Red Raspberry contains iron, manganese, and pantothenic acid.. It also contains calcium, selenium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin B1, and vitamin C. It also contains flavonoids that help prevent morning sickness and cramps. It helps reduce bleeding, swelling, and promotes tissue repair. It also helps to promote the production of the mother's milk.

Squawvine has tannic acids that provide astringent action that helps stop bleeding. It also calms nerves, helps to reduce inflamed tissues, and muscle spasms. Squawvine has historically been used to treat varicose veins, colitis, depression, edema, and diarrhea. Squawvine got its name because the American Indians have a long history of using this herb to treat many female problems.

The information contained in this page lists historical uses of herbs and is for educational purposes only. This information should not be used to diagnose and treat diseases. If you have a serious health problem, consult your doctor or professional health practicioner.

****Please note*****my personal opinion is that Dong quai and cohoshes are not safe to take during pregancy. I certainly wouldn't take this 5W formula or anything else as a "labor prep" or to self-induce.

I think drinking RRL tea does have benefits though, your friend might enjoy drinking RRL tea.

Here is a wonderful article on induction. It's long but worth the read. http://www.mothering.com/11-0-0/html...ecide105.shtml

And what the article says about herbals,
"Uterine-stimulating herbs, such as black cohosh (Caulophyllum), blue cohosh (Cimificugua), achyranthes root, goldenseal, motherwort, wild ginger, and red raspberry leaf, have been used to induce labor. No long-term follow-up study has ever been carried out to show that the use of herbal remedies is safe for inducing labor. All drugs, including medicinal herbs, reach the baby, and any dosage that has an effect on the mother is going to have an overdosing effect on the baby simply because the mother's body weight is about 20 times greater. A pregnant woman, therefore, should never self-prescribe any medicinal herb. Anyone who must be induced for a medical reason, and who wishes to use alternative induction methods, should be guided by a knowledgeable herbalist, acupuncturist, or aromatherapist. "

Edited to conform to the copyright policy.
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#3 of 22 Old 12-09-2003, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for responding.
Although I personally disagree that the cohoshes are unsafe. I feel they are safe for the end of pregnancy.
I also know Native American cultures often used the cohoshes and squaw vine in the last weeks of pregnancy and went on to birth with great ease...
I did use a similar tea on the day my labor began. I am also a practioner of Chinese Medicine and trained in some "induction" techniques with Shaitsu, magnets, and moxa~ all which are frequently used in Asian cultures w/ out complications, and w/ great success.
I not only used the tea myself, I used magnets, acupressure, & moxabustion and went on to have a smooth, quick labor.
I have also helped several women w/ magnets, shaitsu, and moxa... all responded beautifully and labor came quick, smooth, and free of complications.
Anyways, again thanks for the ingredients..
anyone know the amounts to use??? Or have similar recipes including amounts???
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#4 of 22 Old 12-09-2003, 01:11 AM
 
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I strongly recommend that you advise your friend to contact a trained herbalist to help her with amounts or ingredients. This is not something to be pulled off the internet.

For the record, I'm not trying to pick a fight. I just feel very strongly that some herbs need to be used under the guidance of a knowledgeable professional especially in regards to use in pregnancy.
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#5 of 22 Old 12-09-2003, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well I think w/ the proper information and education we are capable of administering our own herbals, acupressure, supplements, etc... just as we are capable of delivering our own babies w/out assistance.

I also am not wanting an argument, but perhaps a discussion w/ anyone interested...
I know you said:
"****Please note*****my personal opinion is that Dong quai and cohoshes are not safe to take during pregancy. I certainly wouldn't take this 5W formula or anything else as a "labor prep" or to self-induce."

I do disagree (as I stated). I don't think they should be taken throughout pregnancy, but I do believe if used wisely in the last few weeks that they are a wonderful prep for labor. I guesss I wouldn't consider them herbs for induction, but more herbs for preperation.
After I searched around a bit for more info I found the following comments from gentlebirth.org, the midwives archives, susan weed, etc:

"5W: Traditional Use: Pregnancy, used during last trimester for easier child birth.

5-W supplies nutrients supportive to the female glandular and reproductive systems. The formula contains iron for the blood and for vitality, manganese to support body tissues, and selenium to assist in healthy tissue growth. During the last five weeks of pregnancy, take two capsules three times daily. (You will probably need two bottles.)"


"For many thousands of years midwives of old and Chinese herbalists have used herbs with very good results. Most of our allopathic medicines have come from herbs and then been chemicalized to line the drug companies pockets. When this started many years ago they had to get the control because how could you control some person going out into the woods and picking a plant for illness. There was no money in this and "they" didn't have the control either. You can't patent a plant or herb. when this tide began to turn then the people stopped relying on their instincts and had to go somewhere else to get well. Not me no thank you. Prescribe- that word needs a definition. It comes from the allopathic mind set and based on that I don't prescribe either. I do recommend only things that I know are safe for my clients and my family in amounts and at times that don't harm.
I do not have any faith in the FDA to say what is safe and what is not. I have faith in my own intuition and knowledge and feelings. These may not be what any one can base a study on but I believe that we need to rely on ourselves more and on "them" less when it comes to our own health and trusting the birth process is part of this."


"Rationale for Prenatal Herbal Tonics:
Prenatal herbal formulations are designed to help ripen the cervix and tone the uterine muscle. Typically, they do this by causing an increase in toning contractions in late pregnancy. If humans lived now as we evolved, even very pregnant women would still be doing a lot of walking around, foraging for food or moving about by foot instead of by car. Those normal levels of adrenaline from daily activity caused toning contractions (archaically called Braxton-Hicks contractions), which helped move the baby into the optimal position for birth and toned the uterus for an easier labor and birth. Moving the baby's head down onto the cervix helped ripen the cervix so it would open more easily when the contractions of labor started. Having a ripened cervix helped the baby to come in a timely fashion, preparing the uterus to be ready to go into labor as soon as baby threw the switch. This meant that baby was more likely to have a nice, flexible head for easier molding and less likely to release meconium before birth. "


"I wrote a little about this in an earlier post about the cohoshes. I mentioned that I use the homeopathic forms of the cohoshes. I use them in labor situations in a 200c potency. I use 200c or 1M potencies in labor because that is what it usually takes in a labor. I use 30cs in pregnancy. (except for Pulsatilla to turn breeches) There is a new book out for midwives about homeopathy - it is written by the homeopath I have been studying under for the last 6 years. The book is called "Homeopathy for the Modern Pregnant Woman and Her Infant" - A Therapeutic Practice Guidebook for Midwives, Physicians and Practitioners. If you are interested in the book, you can e-mail me privately and I'll give you more details, but I don't want to "advertise" on the list. (although I have no connection with the book other than I reviewed her working copy)
Also, as someone reported from several sources - Blue Cohosh is known to actually lower B/P and raise FHTs (at least in my experience). I have even used it to help control a labor B/P that was getting up there. I know people who are not pregnant (even men) who use Blue Cohosh to control high B/P."


"In our practice, we ask that our ladies use either PN-6 or 5W. I'm on my last week of the 5W and I can tell you personally that it's doing its job...I'm living in contraction city! My sr. midwife says that she sees lots fewer women going post-dates and considerably less PPH since she started asking that they do the PN-6 routine.

week 1 = 1 cap (with breakfast)
week 2 = 2 caps (with breakfast and lunch)
week 3 = 3 caps (breakfast, lunch and 4:30...taken any later, and the lady
might be up all night with ctx)
week 4 (2 w/ breakfast, 1 lunch and 1 4:30)
Week 5 (2 breakfast, 2 lunch and 1 4:30)
Week 6 (2,2,2...and voila! BABY!!)"


and here's a link to Susan Weeds info on herbs for pregnancy:
http://www.susunweed.com/A4-Article%20Weed.htm

I am not sure where my aunt, who was my doula, got the recipe (she is a nurse/doula/massage therapist/energy healer/well-studied herbalist), but I know that the tea she had made for me included blue cohosh, yarrow, red raspberry, valerian, and I believe perhaps lady's mantle and/or squaw vine. I feel it helped keep labor in motion and also helped me relax some...
Although I had some painful back labor from ds being posterior, my active labor,after transition, was 29 minutes long, with no complications, tearing, etc....(BTW, I would be consulting her right now on this, but she is in Mexico for the next month)

I know she also took squaw vine for the last 3 weeks of her 2nd pregnancy and had a super quick, smooth labor (baby was born just 2 hours after the very first onset of contarctions, w/ only a few minutes of pushing).

I do agree a woman who chooses to use herbs should either consult an herbalist or do a good bit of research on her own, but I do think we are capable of administering our own herbs and making wise choices including herbs in our pregnancy and birth plans.
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#6 of 22 Old 12-09-2003, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to add that I read the Mothering article you linked to, and I do have a few disagreeances...
The article quotes:
"Acupressure is considered by some American practitioners as potentially effective in jogging a late labor, but traditional Oriental practitioners almost never use acupuncture on women at any time during pregnancy. Traditionalists believe in trusting Mother Nature. "

This is soooo not true!
I am a professional in the field of Chinese Medicine. I have many many traditional Chinese medical texts containing plenty of information on using acupuncture, shiatsu, qi gong, magnets, cupping, moxabustion, and herbs in pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum.
Some of these texts containing techniques and clinical studies dating back hundreds, if not thousands, of years!
I have worked closely with many, many acupuncturists; many of them professional therapists and professors from China, all of which encourage bodywork and Chinese healing modalities during pregnancy!
Same in the field of shiatsu.

I personally had acupuncture (administered by professionals from China) throughout my pregnancy w/ ds for morning sickness, back pain, fatigue, a cold I had in late pregnancy, and labor preperation. I also had moxabustion, shiatsu, and magnet therapies.... all of which made my pregnancy much easier and as I stated earlier, my labor very smooth....

The "sea bands" aka acubands women frequently use in early pregnancy for morning sickness are an acient Chinese treatment~ using magnets on the acupuncture/acupressure point P6 (pericardium 6).

Acupuncture is also wonderful for helping turn a breech baby, by needling UB67 (Urinary Bladder 67) on the outside of the little toe. It has a 97% effectiveness!!

Moxabustion, another ancient technique, using a stick of pressed dried herbs (mugwort being the main herb) over the skin to send heat into an area, point, or channel, is awesome for helping relax and soften the sacrum and hip area in preperation for birth. Moxa can also be used on UB67 for breech positioning. Traditionally moxa is used on the mother-to-be begining a week or so before expected birth. It is called "Easy Birth Moxabustion".

Then there are the traditional points used for beginning labor or to keep it progressing... these can be needled, pressed, or have magnets taped to. These points are contraindicated until the very last week of pregnancy.
Together they make up the "Four Gates"~ Large Intestine 4, Spleen 6, Gall Bladder 21, and Liver 3....

Urinary Bladder 60 (UB60) is an excellent point for pain in back labor....

Pressure or acupuncture applied to the sacral area can be very effective in bringing on contractions, as well as providing relief from back labor...

I could go on and on. All this info is well known and practiced in the community of Chinese Medicine and Oriental Bodywork.
All the referances to techniques and specific points that I mentioned here are written in many classical traditional texts...

I'm not sure where the author came up with that opinion or basis for the comment, but it truly is false.
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#7 of 22 Old 12-26-2003, 01:47 AM
 
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Ok, I know this is an older thread and I haven't read all of it...its a little long for late night reading

My doula suggested taking 5w as a prep for labor. I'm VBAC ad she said all of the homebirth midwives suggest it to vbac moms.

I'm trying to gather from the info given if it is a safe thing to do. They said to start 5 weeks before my edd...which is this week.

is it a safe thing for me?

Single Mom to 2 amazing little men. T(7) and B(5)
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#8 of 22 Old 12-26-2003, 02:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by its_our_family
Ok, I know this is an older thread and I haven't read all of it...its a little long for late night reading

My doula suggested taking 5w as a prep for labor. I'm VBAC ad she said all of the homebirth midwives suggest it to vbac moms.

I'm trying to gather from the info given if it is a safe thing to do. They said to start 5 weeks before my edd...which is this week.

is it a safe thing for me?
I wonder if you shouldnt take something like this because of all your early contractions??
I dont know, just thinking here....

I am considering taking this too. Still researching..
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#9 of 22 Old 12-26-2003, 11:22 AM
 
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i was thinking the same thing. Maybe I should wait till I'm 37 weeks if it is going to cause anything like that. The early contraX is why I stopped the RRL. Luckily, the contrax have caused no change this time around....

Single Mom to 2 amazing little men. T(7) and B(5)
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#10 of 22 Old 12-26-2003, 10:54 PM
 
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There's some interesting information about blue cohosh here:

http://currantsandspice.fateback.com/induction.html
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#11 of 22 Old 12-27-2003, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just an update on that friend of mine:
She was due Dec. 24th.
About 2 weeks ago, she started 500 mg evening primrose oil 3 x a day, as well as using 1 500 mg cap as a vaginal suppository each night.
She also started 10 drops of blue cohosh tincture 2 x a day.
About 1 week ago she went from being dilated 1 cm to 2.5 cm. She also began to have more consistent, but mild contractions.
She came to my work and had a shiatsu w/ moxa and magnets on some key acu points for progressing labor.
About 1 week ago she also added black cohosh, and changed the tincture routine to 10 drops of each 3 x day.
She has since dilated to 3.5 cm and is 80% effaced, w/ an increase in mild contractions...
She said she has no complaints, is pretty comfortable, and happy w/ the progress...
as of now, true labor has not began, she is just 3 days over her "due date"...
I just wanted to share one persons experience of using these herbs.
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#12 of 22 Old 12-27-2003, 02:35 PM
 
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So my question then is...are these things safe on a "scarred" uterus??

Single Mom to 2 amazing little men. T(7) and B(5)
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#13 of 22 Old 12-27-2003, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by its_our_family
So my question then is...are these things safe on a "scarred" uterus??
I think the 5-W formula is pretty mild. I see it more as a prep for labor, not an actual inducing formula. So, IMO I don't see why it wouldn't be okay. I mean you will be having uterine contractions anyways... If you have an adverse reaction to the formula, just stop taking it.
Or you could skip the herbs and try a homeopathic approach:

(from gentlebirth.org) "Homeopathic remedy: caulophyllum (blue), or cimicifuga (black) 200c to kick start a pokey labor. Not usually to start labor. Another homeopathic is Pulsatilla to turn a breech or a lesser strength for a malposition

(I wrote a little about this in an earlier post about the cohoshes. I mentioned that I use the homeopathic forms of the cohoshes. I use them in labor situations in a 200c potency. I use 200c or 1M potencies in labor because that is what it usually takes in a labor. I use 30cs in pregnancy. (except for Pulsatilla to turn breeches) There is a new book out for midwives about homeopathy - it is written by the homeopath I have been studying under for the last 6 years. The book is called "Homeopathy for the Modern Pregnant Woman and Her Infant" - A Therapeutic Practice Guidebook for Midwives, Physicians and Practitioners. )

Homeopathic remedies starting in last month of pregnancy: Starting at week 36, take Dolisos "Childbirth Combo" Caulophyllum Complex homeopathic, 3 tablets 3 times daily. Put them under your tongue and let them dissolve. Ideally, it's best to avoid caffeine completely while using homeopathics. Alternatively, avoid caffeine for 15 minutes before and 30 minutes after taking the tablets. Also, try to avoid anything with a strong mint flavoring - toothpaste, candy or tea - and any very strong spices. (Nutritional Formulas "Matrigin" is a similar complex. "

And there is also Evening primrose Oil for labor prep:

"Beginning in the last month of pregnancy, at 36 weeks, start taking Evening Primrose Oil orally - 1 500 mg. capsule in the morning, 1 at night. In addition, beginning at 38 weeks, two weeks before your due date, begin also to use the capsules as a vaginal suppository Insert the intact capsule as high as possible in the vagina, ideally tucked in behind the cervix, just before retiring for the night. The capsule will melt and the oil will be absorbed by the cervix and surrounding tissues. Start with one capsule each night for the first week, and then use two capsules in the last week before your due date and continue until labor begins. (Evening primrose oil contains gamma linoleic acid (GLA), which is a prostaglandin precursor. Some people say it helps soften the cervix.)
I have my first and second time moms start taking EPO 6wks before their due date. 500mg three times a day orally. Then 10 days before their due date I have them insert 3-4 caps into the vagina at night. The caps melt and the EPO gets to the cervix and gets it nice and ripe. The cervix melts over the baby's head.
EPO is great to soften a cervix either applied locally to the cervix and/or taken orally - about 500 to 1500 mg per day. Get her walking!
The local prevailing dosage here is 500 mg orally three times daily and 500-1000 mg vaginally at night from 36wks on."
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#14 of 22 Old 12-28-2003, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, just another update on that friend of mine...
Yesterday morning she upped the blue and black cohosh to 10 drops each every 2 hrs
She went into labor last night around 10 PM, went to the hospital at about 12:30 AM, baby was born at 7:30 AM. She had about 1 hr of pushing...
baby was born free of any complications and absolutely healthy. 8 lbs 3 oz, 21" long, and nursing enthusiastically!
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#15 of 22 Old 12-28-2003, 02:36 PM
 
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OK a little late to the conversation here but just wanted to add my $.02 here.

I took 5W for my last pregnancy and wouldn't do without it in future pregnancys. I did end up having her 3 weeks early which was fine because I was having a ton of preg. related problems and we were going to talk about induction the day she was born. I also never took it full strength and I am a large woman (usually the bigger you are the more you need.) The person who told me about it said to start with one a day for a week and add one each week until you were up to six. I made it to my first day of 4 and went into labor shortly after I took 2 in the afternoon (3 for the day). Coincedence? Maybe. probably. Anyway I started feeling crampy but didn't think anything of it. went to a regularly scheduled prenatal and she checked me (by now the cramping had become fairly uncomfortable) and I was 10 cm, just like that. Had Ava 3 minutes later. peice of cake. no tearing, minimal pain I totally attribute the easy labor to the 5W.

I also used black and blue cohosh to induce with my second child and they worked beautifully . I used the direction in Wise woman herbal for the childbearing year. Can't remember what they were except that you put it under your tounge.

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#16 of 22 Old 12-28-2003, 07:44 PM
 
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I still have to find 5W. I have done some research and I'm taking 6 capsules of 400mg RRL a day and I'm going to start on EPO orally. Once I hit the 37 week smark I might try it vaginally.

I was also reading up on non-pharmaceutical ways to ripedn the ceervix. I might try some of that too but we'll see.

I'm still doing research so if you have anything to throw my way I'd appreciate it.

What is a good book my library would have about all this??

-------------

Edited to add that I have now started taking 2400mg of RRL and just started 1000mg of EPO. I'll bump up the EPO next week to 1500mg. I still am trying to find the 5W locally...i don't want to get it online....

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#17 of 22 Old 01-27-2004, 07:15 PM
 
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I just wanted to ask, for those who took 5-W or are going to...

Did you take the dosage on the bottle - 2 caps 3 times a day after 35 weeks- ?
Or did you do the schedule I saw at the Midwife archives - 1 cap per day the first week, 2 caps per day the 2nd week, etc until you reach full dosage at due date- ?

OPinions on which dosage to follow?

Bebe Luna- Did you start taking your prep yet?
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#18 of 22 Old 01-28-2004, 03:06 AM
 
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I just want to say that taking herbs is not like taking drugs. Sure, there are some herbs you should be careful about, and it's always a good idea to consult someone knowledgeable about herbs, but you simply can't compare it to taking drugs. Drugs are artificially produced, unnaturally high in dosage, and contain none of the protective compounds that herbs contain.

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#19 of 22 Old 01-29-2004, 01:09 AM
 
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I took the 1 first week, 2 the second week and gave birth the first day I took 3. And I am a big girl (usually you take herbs by your weight heavier = more from what I have heard) I would say definitely go slow. your goal anyway is not to induce labor but just tone your uterus and get it ready. If you take too few no big, if youtake too many it could be bad. Not to mention gas that could occur if youjump to quickly into herbs

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#20 of 22 Old 04-09-2004, 09:56 PM
 
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Just bumping this because it seems quite interesting...
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#21 of 22 Old 05-03-2004, 03:00 AM
 
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I took PN6 in the last weeks of my pregnancy. I had a quick, relatively easy labor and delivery.
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#22 of 22 Old 05-04-2004, 02:38 AM
 
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Now its called Pre-natal Tea though they changed the name for some reason. I took it with my last pg because I wanted my contractions to be more effective and progress at a nice pace. My labors are usually long and drawn out. I had a 6 hour labor. I am due in July with my #4 and will be taking it again. I followed the 1 capsule a day starting at 34 weeks then 2 the next week, 3 the next and so on...

Michelle

edd 7/7 #4
mLeroux is offline  
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