Do natural induction techniques such as epo or borage oil work if you are less than 40 wks? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-13-2008, 10:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd really like to start trying something but I don't want to be wasting my time.

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Old 08-13-2008, 11:15 PM
 
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The way I always look at it is none of it will work unless your body is ready to go into labor on its own anyways, if your not ready, they your simply not ready and you most likely WILL be wasting your time with anything else.
Why not just let nature take its coarse?
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:33 PM
 
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I'm not sure what borage oil does but epo simply softens the cervix so it's not going to cause you to dilate. And because there is more to labor than just dilation, epo wouldn't do anything on it's own to start labor anyhow.

I agree though that unless your body is practically ready, natural inductions won't work, therefore they are maybe only speeding the process of labor starting by hours.

Why though are you asking about induction before 40w?
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by janasmama View Post
I agree though that unless your body is practically ready, natural inductions won't work, therefore they are maybe only speeding the process of labor starting by hours.

Why though are you asking about induction before 40w?
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:52 PM
 
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I'm not sure what borage oil does but epo simply softens the cervix so it's not going to cause you to dilate. And because there is more to labor than just dilation, epo wouldn't do anything on it's own to start labor anyhow.

Yeah, I've been taking EPO at the advice of my MWs since about 36 weeks (I'll be 40 weeks on Friday) and obviously haven't gone into labor yet. it's not meant to send you into labor.
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I heard that borage was more effective than epo. But as far as why I am thinking of induction already, hiding the whole homebirth thing from my family is becoming harder all the time and then on top of my own family I have DH's parents coming on the 23rd and they know nothing of the homebirth either and I don't want them around when it happens(i have never met them and they have never even seen our 7 yr old son), so I'm just hoping to get this little guy on time or early.

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Old 08-14-2008, 06:04 AM
 
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I haven't heard about using borage oil. I've heard of using black cohosh, but like others have said already, NOTHING will work unless that baby is good and ready... sometimes not even the chemical induction methods that they use in the hospitals.

Seeing that you're planning a HBAC, I would highly recommend AGAINST trying to induce early. Doing so is just going to add further complications.

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Old 08-14-2008, 08:30 AM
 
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Seeing that you're planning a HBAC, I would highly recommend AGAINST trying to induce early. Doing so is just going to add further complications.
I believe I read yesterday on Michael Odent's Ask the Experts page that any type of induction is a contraindication for HBAC moms. See http://www.mothering.com/sections/ex...t-archive.html

I understand your concerns with your family, but honestly you could be taking a great risk by attempting to induce before your child is ready to come. 40 weeks is an estimation and only that, and it can only even be an estimation if you are precisely sure that your child was conceived on day 14 of a 28 day cycle. Otherwise it could be days or even weeks off.

In addition to the risks of a premature baby from an induction too early, there are also risks to to the labor even from natural methods. Although I highly believe natural methods are far superior as a starting point for those who truly need them, they are still not the best situation to start labor in and as others have pointed out they really only work when mom and babe are ready and just need that extra jumpstart.

IMO, the only thing I would be doing at this point to encourage labor is regular sexual activity. It will continue to help soften the cervix and will encourage contractions when the time is right. You may also drink a cup or two a day of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. More importantly I would sit down and have a conversation with your husband about your concerns and see what else may be worked out in the case that your in-laws are there during the time you are in labor, perhaps they need to stay in a hotel or otherwise... Even if you were to be giving birth in the hospital, you would want to be at home during labor as long as possible and would need privacy for your own safety and comfort. Anything he can do to help maximize your comfort at this point will go a long way in making your HBAC possible.

Just for a little background on where I am coming from... Three out of four of my births have been "induced". The first (second pregnancy) at 42+ weeks, second at 43+ weeks, and the last at 41+ weeks. I attempted the first one with cohosh and rrlt (large amounts) because in Colorado midwifery assisted homebirth is illegal after 42 weeks and I was terrified of going to the hospital. It didn't really work and ends up I had to transfer during labor anyway... During the end of my third pregnancy, I don't really remember exactly what methods I tried but I was also having ultrasounds to check on the fluid levels and during the second one they found what they believed to be birth defects and I agreed to AROM at the hospital, as I was already 4cm but not in labor. It was my hardest labor so far and was only manageable without drugs due to an extremely supportive husband and the jet tub. My last birth I was showing signs of edema and was put on bedrest for two days by my midwife. When it did not show any signs of letting up, we decided to try rrl tincture, which just made me sick and gave me some piddly contractions, and ended up doing an enema to get things moving along. Even after that it took a good 6-8 hours for anything to start happening, so I can't even say for sure that it worked.

I hope I don't sound like I am preaching to you, but I can honestly say that I would have preferred to start all three of these labors without all this stuff in my system. My first birth, while I had a long labor, was very easy with regards to early first stage and I was able to continue working, walking around, sleeping at points, etc... Having piddly contractions for two to three days and the stress of trying to make your body go into labor can make for a tired momma before the work even starts.

Edit... I realized I recommended Red Raspberry Leaf Tea and I am not sure I should have... I have not read anything about herb use in post-cesarean moms and don't know if it is recommended during pregnancy for you or not. Unless she has already told you it was okay, you should probably speak with your midwife first before drinking it.
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:26 PM
 
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I have heard that any kind of natural induction technique causes the baby to pass meconium, which can get you transferred. This rang true for me because, although I didn't use any herbs, the night before I gave birth I ate a Thai curry that I had asked for "extra spicy" (could barely choke it down) and had sex with my husband on purpose to try to induce. Six hours later my water broke with meconium in it, and no contrax, which led to a, well, a "hospital special" with the works.
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:22 PM
 
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I have heard that any kind of natural induction technique causes the baby to pass meconium, which can get you transferred. This rang true for me because, although I didn't use any herbs, the night before I gave birth I ate a Thai curry that I had asked for "extra spicy" (could barely choke it down) and had sex with my husband on purpose to try to induce. Six hours later my water broke with meconium in it, and no contrax, which led to a, well, a "hospital special" with the works.
I really don't think that's true - I know it wasn't for me! I think it's probably more due to later babies are more likely to have mec. in the first place.

I had sex, use EPO, ate tons of spicy food, did several herbal things, etc (no castor oil though...) and ds was 43 weeks 5 days (yeah, none of them really worked... ) But no mec. At least until after he was born when he pooped all over me....

-Angela
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:52 PM
 
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I really don't think that's true - I know it wasn't for me! I think it's probably more due to later babies are more likely to have mec. in the first place.

I had sex, use EPO, ate tons of spicy food, did several herbal things, etc (no castor oil though...) and ds was 43 weeks 5 days (yeah, none of them really worked... ) But no mec. At least until after he was born when he pooped all over me....
Probably different things affect different babies in different ways. We can't guarantee it either way, as a bunch of laypersons on an internet discussion board.

I think most of us would agree that the best thing you could do would be to just let the baby arrive when s/he's ready. I know that's not what you want to hear, but it *really* is the better thing.

If you managed to induce early and something went wrong, you'd never forgive yourself.

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Old 08-14-2008, 07:25 PM
 
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I have used EPO extensively prior to both my births because I wanted to encourage softening for easy dilation -- it can sometimes be a problem with women who have had cone biopsies of the cervix, which I had.

I also was hoping for a slightly early baby so as to slip in to the 2007 tax year.

Anyway, it worked well both times. Neither baby had any problems, and it didn't start labor like an induction would, although it might have hastened it and definetly made it go faster with a nice soft stretchy cervix to begin with. I have heard that too much vaginal EPO can weaken your membranes and cause your water to break early. YMMV, but with my second my water broke at 39w3d very unexpectedly and with no contractions (might have been the EPO, might have been his wicked long fingernails and nuchal hand...), which would have been a disaster if my midwives weren't comfortable with extended labor with prelabor ROM. I did start contracting 12-ish hours later and had a happy homebirth. But it's somethign to be aware of.

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Old 08-14-2008, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I understand what you ladies are saying and I appreciate all your advice. I'll just wait it out then unless my midwife says otherwise. RRL tea is fine for vbac mamas BTW my midwife said I could drink up to a quart a day so that's what I have been doing this whole trimester.

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Old 08-15-2008, 11:19 AM
 
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I have heard that any kind of naturacaul induction technique causes the baby to pass meconium, which can get you transferred. This rang true for me because, although I didn't use any herbs, the night before I gave birth I ate a Thai curry that I had asked for "extra spicy" (could barely choke it down) and had sex with my husband on purpose to try to induce. Six hours later my water broke with meconium in it, and no contrax, which led to a, well, a "hospital special" with the works.
I heard that too, but checked with midwives on that one - especially since dd was born with thick mec in the waters. I had tried some homeopathic remedies and then an herbal tincture to kickstart my labor. They assured me that none of that would really case her to poop - the fact that she was 10 days postdates would have been the cause. I really don't think you need to blame yourself for eating spicy food and dtd - there's just no way that would have enough effect to cause your baby to pass mec.

FWIW, OP, EPO or borage oil certainly won't hurt. I do credit them with helping me to have a nice soft stretchy cervix and therefore a faster labor with #3 and #4. With my first two I had made zero progress before going into labor and labored for a long, long time, and found that hard. Those oils are certainly not going to induce labor. EPO will improve your mood as well
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Old 08-16-2008, 09:47 AM
 
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The way I always look at it is none of it will work unless your body is ready to go into labor on its own anyways, if your not ready, they your simply not ready and you most likely WILL be wasting your time with anything else.
This is not true. I have heard of babies being born needing respiratory assistance and with other signs of immaturity/prematurity at supposedly 40 weeks when using cod liver oil or other 'mild' induction techniques.

I have had two 38-weekers (now 21 years old and 20 months old respectively), a 43-weeker (now 17 years old), a 45-weeker (now here on MDC getting ready for her own baby), and a 46-weeker (now 10 years old).

Trying to birth a baby who is not ready for the outside world, in order to avoid someone's opinion on the matter, is not a good reason.

You have a good midwife, right?
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Old 08-16-2008, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had my 39 wk checkup yesterday , I'm 75% effaced so I guess i'm softening up just fine without epo or anything =).

Directions from my midwife: walk and have lots of sex =)!

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Old 08-16-2008, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is not true. I have heard of babies being born needing respiratory assistance and with other signs of immaturity/prematurity at supposedly 40 weeks when using cod liver oil or other 'mild' induction techniques.

I have had two 38-weekers (now 21 years old and 20 months old respectively), a 43-weeker (now 17 years old), a 45-weeker (now here on MDC getting ready for her own baby), and a 46-weeker (now 10 years old).

Trying to birth a baby who is not ready for the outside world, in order to avoid someone's opinion on the matter, is not a good reason.

You have a good midwife, right?

I have an excellent midwife.
It's not about opinions it's about stress from other people effecting my birth experience!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old 08-17-2008, 06:05 AM
 
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I'm not sure that having a nice birth experience, but risking putting your baby in the NICU is a good tradeoff.
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Old 08-17-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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Not me, no way.

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Old 08-17-2008, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My baby is not at risk thank you very much. BTW everything I go through will effect my baby so my experience is his experience as well.

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Old 08-17-2008, 11:30 PM
 
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How long are your inlaws staying? I hope not for too long so you can birth comfortably without them there.

Do you think if you happen to go into labor while they are visiting that your DH could ask them to get a room at least just for that day/night of the birth?
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:37 PM
 
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I had the same thought as Carrie. Maybe you can get them out of your house until the baby is born. I don't think I saw if you explained why you are keeping it a secret, but I'd put it on DH to spill the beans and just be up front with everyone. I know from personal experience that stressing about something can keep you from going into labor. Maybe if everything is out in the open, your body will also be able to relax a little more.
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:47 PM
 
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i would highly advise springing for a hotel room for them if you go into labor..or rescheduling the visit. this is one of the most important days of your life and your baby's life. i wouldnt allow someone to be staying w/ me that was going to bring negative energy in.

there are a lot of opinions on this thread but the bottom line is that its best for your baby to come when the baby is ready..not anyone else.

as a VBAC i would be hesitant to do anything. i have been drinking RRL tea every day this pregnancy..its GOOD for VBACs.
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure where they will be staying, with us or in a hotel. All I know is it's going to be hard to explain to them why they can't come over if I happen to be in labor. My EDD is the 21st and they are supposed to be flying out on the 23rd and staying for a week.

Honestly the only reason I am keeping it a secret is because of how traditional both of our families are about dr's and such and I don't want the oh once a section always a section, or what if something happens why would you endanger yourself or the baby comments that will inevitbly come up.

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Old 08-18-2008, 02:42 AM
 
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I totally understand. I hope that time will be on your side.

When you go into labor you could just tell them that you are going to labor at home for awhile and would like your privacy and just leave it at that. Some people put a message on the answering machine that states something like...we'll announce the birth of the baby on this message when he/she comes.

Then you don't have to answer any calls and once you have the baby their comments won't mean anything. Everyone will see the beautiful baby and just be amazed.
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks janasmama!!!!



BTW I emailed them to ask them where they are staying and his mom asked if they could stay with us!!! Why they wouldn't ask ahead of time I don't know. My Mom says she'll put them up so hopefully they will go along with that.

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Old 08-18-2008, 05:07 AM
 
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Is it hard to tell them "we aren't having guests during our labor"?
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Is it hard to tell them "we aren't having guests during our labor"?

Why are you bent on attacking me? Don't you have anything better to do?

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Old 08-18-2008, 09:32 AM
 
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I am not attacking you. I am sorry if I came across that way. I meant that as a simple, straightforward question.

I will bow out of this thread.
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:01 PM
 
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Like fruitfulmomma I too tried to induce with my last b/c my mw refers after 42 weeks and I would have done anything to avoid the hospital. However like everyone else has said, it won't work unless it's practically time anyway. On my edd she stripped my membranes and I started contracting shortly after, so we spent the whole night doing everything: castor oil, black & blue cohosh, squats, walking around, I went and walked a whole neighborhood. Other stuff too, I don't even remember everything. The contractions got irregular by morning and that was that. Nearly two weeks later I was really really close, drank castor oil again (a lot) and this time did go into labor, but pretty miserably. Afterwards I read that castor oil may be linked to the baby passing the meconium prematurely. Definitely not worth it on any front, IMO.
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