When to start EPO? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 03-23-2005, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! I am wondering when I should/can start to take an EPO supplement? I am 35 weeks, 1 day. Thanks!

AmiBeth

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#2 of 10 Old 03-23-2005, 08:05 PM
 
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I used EPO to help me get pregnant but have stopped taking it since it is supposed to start uterine contractions. Why exactly do you want to start contrx at 35wks? I read somewhere, but I really don't remember, that in the Journal of Midwifery, or something along those lines, they did an extended study on the use of EPO to help naturally induce labor and they found that the non EPO group had significantly fewer complications that the EPO group. Your body knows when to start labor, and most times it doesn't need any encouragement there, and if it does, there are other, safer, natural ways of inducing labor, but unless there are complications you shouldn't have to worry about that untill 42 wks. I will try to look over the internet and see if I can find that article I was talking about. I hate to be so vague. Also you can get the helpful GLA properties of EPO from other less risky sources. I know that I probably don't have 100% of my info right, so if someone wants to enlighten me further, i'd love to know more about EPO!

Ashley, Jesus loving mama to Jaden (8) Trace (6) and Liam (3) and fost/adopt twins Talia and Oliva (1).  Happily married for a decade! 

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#3 of 10 Old 03-23-2005, 08:29 PM
 
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We have another thread on EPO not long ago. Pamela (Pyramidwife) is a midwife and she says that you can actually take EPO your entire pg. I also thought you weren't supposed to take it until you were full-term. However it is not supposed to cause contractions just ripen your cervix but she says it will only do that once you are full-term. Anyway you can take it orally any time but should only use it vaginally for ripening purposes after 37 weeks. Here's that thread:
http://69.20.14.30/discussions/showthread.php?t=261287

A couple of posts down she posted a good link on it. Even with those who say you should only use it full-term I've never heard anyone call it dangerous. My midwives had me start taking it with my DD at 36 weeks and I did not have her until just after my due date. From everything I've read most natural remedies are not going to cause labor unless your body and baby are ready to go as it is.
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#4 of 10 Old 03-23-2005, 08:53 PM
 
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My MW are now reccomending against EPO after 37 wks as a result of a study linking EPO to early membraine rupture. (Sorry, I've got no primary reference.) She did tell me that early membraine rupture has not been their experience with EPO but that their reseach on EPO has left them feeling that the safety and dosage of EPO just hasn't been rigorously documented well enough for them to routinely recomend to all women.
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#5 of 10 Old 03-23-2005, 11:54 PM
 
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This was the only reference I could find to such a study:
http://www.drgreene.com/21_235.html

I couldn't find any info on the study itself.

I'm excessively frustrated by this sort of medical crap. Doctors routinely perform things that have worse effects than something like EPO, why is our only alternative either nothing or full medical induction with all of its problems? Someone should be out there trying to figure out what really does help bring on labor sooner without having to resort to something as invasive as induction.

I'm also really frustrated with the overall attitude of 'you should just be patient, etc etc'. I was patient with DD, patient to 42 1/2 weeks - unforutnately due to a whole bunch of reaons, including medical induction I had a c-section. Now I don't have the leisure to wait. It's just as likely I'll go to 42 weeks this time and then its c-section or nothing. I'd love to know what I could do that would help me go into labor before 42 weeks, but there is no money in it for the medical establishment, so nobody cares to find out - besides they are getting more money to cut me open anyway.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#6 of 10 Old 03-24-2005, 12:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natashaccat
My MW are now reccomending against EPO after 37 wks as a result of a study linking EPO to early membraine rupture. (Sorry, I've got no primary reference.) She did tell me that early membraine rupture has not been their experience with EPO but that their reseach on EPO has left them feeling that the safety and dosage of EPO just hasn't been rigorously documented well enough for them to routinely recomend to all women.

interesting - I was wondering about this myself. It makes sense to me that having a very ripe cervix, while good for delivery, is not so good for holding the bag of water until labor starts, or may cause the bag to break early in labor.

I'm going to ask my OB about taking it at my next appt, although I do not want to start it until I'm at 38 weeks and only if I'm not dilated on my own at that point.
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#7 of 10 Old 03-24-2005, 12:16 AM
 
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I agree with Karen

It's sooo frustrating trying to find something that can "really help" with early natural induction without saying "if" your body is ready.

My last pregnancy I went 8 days over my due date and went into labor for 26 hours! I pushed for 2 1/2 hours forceps were used and he still didn't come out until a c-section! He was way too big 9lbs 12 oz 22 1/2 inches long!!! My doctor swore he wouldn't be over 8lbs, boy was she wrong! I don't want to end up with another c-section this time!
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#8 of 10 Old 03-24-2005, 12:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies & the link to the other thread. I'm not terribly worried about our baby being too big, as I know I can birth big babies (DS1 was 9 lbs, 5 oz, 21 1/2 inches & DS2 was 9 lbs, 15 oz, 22 1/2 inches), but both were 3 weeks late. With DS1 I ended up with a non-progressing labor & had to have Pitocin, with DS2 I ended up having to be induced (they used Cytotec), as apparently my body did NOT know when to go into labor on it's own. I would rather use natural induction methods rather than Cytotec or Pitocin.

Ashley~ I never said I was looking to start contractions AT 35 weeks, I was asking WHEN I could start using EPO & stated that I am currently 35 weeks. I have no problem waiting until 37 weeks if that is what is the safe thing too do. That is why I posted asking when I could start using it.

AmiBeth

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#9 of 10 Old 03-24-2005, 11:36 AM
 
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I am "with" many of the posters here. I was induced with Cytotech at 41.2 weeks with my DS, and needed a vacuum delivery. I do not want that to happen again. I want to take EPO, have lots of sex, I would even resort to the more.... hard-core of natural induction methods like black/blue cohash, if I knew/believed it worked, but as it's been stated before- we don't know what really works outside of going in, getting an IV drip or unapproved ulcer treating drug pushed into our cervix, and then often ending up with a C anyway. It is so frusterating.
I know that for ~me~ I may have very well went into labor in my own within a few days or a week after my induction, but we'll never know, and that not knowing makes me nervous as heck.
I've got my midwife, I've planned my homebirth, but if I don't go into labor on my own, all that planning (and the money I have paid my MW) are down the drain and I end up in the hospital with a medical induction.
Sorry... rant over. Just wanted to let you all know I'm there with you.

AmiBeth, I would just wait until 37 weeks or so to start EPO. I do believe that for most people, it really won't *do* anything, unless you are on the verge of going into labor yourself, anyways. I know you may not want to hear that, but I think that's how it is. I wish you luck (and me too!!) despite what I hear and believe.
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#10 of 10 Old 03-24-2005, 12:30 PM
 
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I took EPO (orally) my entire pregnancy, at the recommendation of my midwife. I wish I could find the article she gave me but it talks about how we need EFA's and that EPO is a good one for pregnant women. I took both Fish Oil and EPO.

EPO does not cause contractions.

Chrissy, lucky mama to Noah (9), Lilah (6), Rowan (3) and Laney (1).
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