"Natural induction" tricks? - Mothering Forums
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February 2009 > "Natural induction" tricks?
tomsTXmom's Avatar tomsTXmom 08:30 PM 01-24-2009
Anyone doing anything to help labor begin?
Like castor oil; intercourse; cohosh; etc.

I've heard a lot, but it's been six years since I thought about it. I'm sure I can't think of too much more than I listed.

Your thoughts?

Tracy

nighten's Avatar nighten 09:26 PM 01-24-2009
Nope. But I'm not even 37 weeks yet.

The prostaglandins thing from sex softens/ripens your cervix but may not do much for triggering contractions unless you're already ready, supposedly. But it's worth a try.

The oxytocin release from orgasm and/or nipple stimulation typically needs to be consistent I think for it to really get things going. Again, worth a try though.

Castor oil is, IMO, nasty. There is no way I'd use it, honestly, unless the alternative was a forced c-section or something. But it can work in some cases. Just be prepared for some nasty BMs and that's not something I want to deal with in labor, so I'm not a fan of castor oil at all. It's obviously a very personal preference. I imagine if you're desperate enough not to mind the side effects, then it could be worth it. While it's considered somewhat anecdotal by some people, there are still others who believe it can cross the placenta and cause baby to expel meconium. Whether it's true or not, it's something else that makes the notion of castor oil an uncomfortable option for me personally.

You could see about getting your membranes stripped if you're overdue and really uncomfortable. It can help things get going in some cases, but can also introduce some bacteria (as with any cervical/vaginal exam).

Some people believe the spices/herbs in eggplant parmesan help trigger labor.

And there's acupressure/acupuncture.

This is a good site I think:

http://www.maternitycorner.com/mcmag.../preg0007.html
Marlet's Avatar Marlet 09:30 PM 01-24-2009
Never mind.
nighten's Avatar nighten 09:55 PM 01-24-2009
I didn't say castor oil definitely caused meconium to be expelled. I was very clear in my post.

And obviously, since this is the February DDC, no one here is past term, so if there's a chance of it causing the baby to have her first BM, then it wouldn't be from length of gestation.

----

I have no clue as to the safety or efficacy of using castor oil directly on the cervix. I'd ask my midwife before trying it, if I were you, Tracy. But if it can trigger contractions without the nasty side effects, then it might be worth a try, depending on how far along you are. But doing a long slow "stretch" on the cervix is not the same as using it as a sexual lubricant. And the quote isn't clear on what exactly is absorbed through the membranes, so while the OP may not have suffered the foul side effects, I'm not sure this method would guarantee no such effects. I have no idea though and I'd definitely talk to your midwife first.

Good luck with whatever you try.
Marlet's Avatar Marlet 11:15 PM 01-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by nighten View Post
I didn't say castor oil definitely caused meconium to be expelled. I was very clear in my post.

And obviously, since this is the February DDC, no one here is past term, so if there's a chance of it causing the baby to have her first BM, then it wouldn't be from length of gestation.
oh I know. I was just throwing it out there. I know alot of people who see castor oil and meconium in the same sentence and panic without knowing of the studies. I wasn't replying directly to you...just in general. Sorry. I think I'll go edit my post. It seems as if I've stepped into an area I'm not welcome.
DreamsInDigital's Avatar DreamsInDigital 11:30 PM 01-24-2009
I used castor oil twice when I was nearing 42 weeks with my third baby and was facing the threat of being transferred out of my homebirth midwife's care and into a hospital induction. It didn't work, but I narrowly avoided that hospital induction and had a fabulous home waterbirth instead, at 42 weeks + 1 day. And despite two 4 oz. doses of castor oil, my son did not have any meconium in the water.

Black and blue cohosh tincture or homeopathic caulophyllum and cimicifuga are said to help induce labor, and cottonroot bark is supposed to be good for helping along a labor that has begun but is sluggish.

I've heard they only work if you're already on the verge of going into labor on your own.

I'm not attempting to encourage labor on my own at this point though. I have a habit of going to 41-42 weeks so I know he still needs some time.
Nillarilla's Avatar Nillarilla 11:31 PM 01-24-2009
FWIW I did go overdue with my son and did end up having a labour cocktail with castor oil. He did pass fresh meconium no idea if it was related. I'm not certain but I think the castor oil is what made me so nauseaus. I tried oral EPO and vaginal, sex, walking, swinging, pulsatilla and verbena oil tea. I would have tried pineapple but I'm allergic. The cocktail was the last thing and it definitely worked but at what cost I don't know.
Apparently the best is sex with nipple stimulation and orgasm. Orgasm can dilate the cervix up to 2 cm. I'm waiting until next week to try the EPO again and lots of RRL tea and the sex. I don't want to go overdue again but I don't want to rush things either.
starling&diesel's Avatar starling&diesel 11:39 PM 01-24-2009
Do you guys think oral EPO is as effective as vaginal EPO?
I'm still dealing with that dangnabbit UTI so I don't want to add anything more to the mix down there.
Mainstream Hippie's Avatar Mainstream Hippie 11:51 PM 01-24-2009
I played with natural induction old wives type tales with my last one, and regretted it. I thought it would be fun, but it made me irritable. I didn't do anything that would run a great risk of dehydration, like castor oil, or anything herbal, like the cohoshes, but did "fun" things, like sex, spicy foods, calamari and eggplan parm- which is what I had the night my water broke (like 7 hours later).

With my daughter, I went into labor at the very end of a massage that spent a good amount of time on my feet, calves, and ankles. I would totally do that again, because even if it doesn't "work", dude, it's a massage!

All that said, I plan to enjoy my time until this kid wants to come, at least until around 41 weeks, when I may look into that kind of thing, just for fear of losing out on my chance at a home birth.

Oh, and I usually do use evening primrose oil, just as a cervical ripener. I have only just started that, and only orally, because I have soooooo much to do before I go into labor.
Mainstream Hippie's Avatar Mainstream Hippie 11:52 PM 01-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post
Do you guys think oral EPO is as effective as vaginal EPO?
I'm still dealing with that dangnabbit UTI so I don't want to add anything more to the mix down there.
I don't, but I would also delay it until the UTI was clear. Not that I think it would make it worse, but I like to wear a pad or a liner when I do vaginal EPO, and would worry THAT might cause an issue with the UTI, aggravate it.
nighten's Avatar nighten 12:31 AM 01-25-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post
Do you guys think oral EPO is as effective as vaginal EPO?
I'm still dealing with that dangnabbit UTI so I don't want to add anything more to the mix down there.
In my limited experience, oral EPO was very effective.
mama-aya's Avatar mama-aya 04:58 AM 01-25-2009
I did homeopathic caullophyllum last time, and that worked great. I think I took like three doses of 30x ,in the evening and during the night, then in the morning dissolved a dose in a water bottle, and every time I drank half the water I refilled it, so the homeopathic kept getting diluted, and the baby was born that afternoon.
JosieAK's Avatar JosieAK 07:44 AM 01-25-2009
I asked my midwife about Dr. Christopher's prenatal formula, which has some black and blue cohash in it, etc. She said that in her experience taking light amounts of that sort of thing too early can just cause contractions that don't do anything much but tire the mother out and don't seem to have much effect of shortening the labor. Also, she encouraged me to delay any sort of vaginal EPO for a while, but said that it couldn't hurt orally (and is really good for me anyway). She also encouraged me to up my Vit. C to help me combat this lingering cold and poo-pooed any posibility of it causing too much cramping. So, we'll see!

I've heard that the castor oil is nasty in so many ways. I'm already very loose stooled right now (TMI) whether from the oils I'm already taking (EPO and cod liver) or because my body is just more crampy than usual, I don't know. BUT I did read a study that showed castor oil to be a fairly effective induction method and if I do get to 41.5 weeks, I will seriously consider it.

Before that point, I would probably use a breast pump for some serious nipple stimulation, take some black or blue cohash, etc. Going overdue is one of my big fears of this entire pregnancy (my mother was 6 weeks late with me), so I've been reading and planning what I would do for a while. Now, though, I'm not worried and sort of hope to make it to February just because I'm mentally prepared to birth a February baby (and wouldn't mind a few extra days to get ready too ).
tomsTXmom's Avatar tomsTXmom 10:25 AM 01-25-2009
I'm only 38 weeks, so no rush! But, I like the idea of helping the body stay rythmic once it gets started. I guess maybe that's a better way of expressing my question!

Caster oil is NOT something I'll be doing again. My last labor (9 days past EDD) was spent sitting backwards on a toilet because I had diareah the entire time! Ewww.

I'm really sorry if you're a first timer, this conversation may do nothing but frustrate you, or make you feel like you "should" be doing something, when you shouldn't! I'm personally convinced trying to make your body do something it's not ready for just makes labor harder and longer.

Keep the suggestions coming though! I like to have a back-up plan just in case!

Thanks!

Tracy

adding question: What is EPO? I'm an idiot! Thanks Gillian for the answer!
Everrgreen's Avatar Everrgreen 12:34 PM 01-25-2009
It's probably just a coincidence but I started using EPO (vaginally) about 3 days before my water broke and labour started.

Oh, and EPO = evening primrose oil
Mainstream Hippie's Avatar Mainstream Hippie 02:40 PM 01-25-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by JosieAK View Post
I'm already very loose stooled right now (TMI) whether from the oils I'm already taking (EPO and cod liver)
Me, too! 1300 mg oral EPO and Barlean's DHA supplement, and nooooooo issues with constipation. Not even a little.
starling&diesel's Avatar starling&diesel 02:48 PM 01-25-2009
And here I thought my 'loose stools' were a hint that things were moving along. Probably just the darn EPO and DHA oils. :
Vegan Princess's Avatar Vegan Princess 03:17 PM 01-25-2009
My midwife has me taking EPO orally in case I have scar tissue from having had a LEEP 10 years ago. She said we won't start with it internally unless I hit 40 weeks.

Cindy
k13's Avatar k13 04:59 PM 01-25-2009
It seems hard to say what works and when - so different for everyone and with different pregnancies. But worth trying some different things, to see if any work for you I suppose.

FWIW, I induced labor with castor oil in order to have a home birth because of PROM and labor not starting on it's own after several days - and it worked fine. I did spend some time on the toilet but it seemed to all flush out of me pretty quickly and labor was quite efficient and enjoyable. I wouldn't do it again without there being a "need" to, though. Just prefer to let things take a more "natural" course - the castor oil labor was pretty intense and fast. No meconium and she was born in a caul (must've been a high leak). But it did do the job nicely for me under the circumstances.

RRL tea also gave me some intense contrax over a month ago so I stopped drinking it. I'm thinking about taking it up again now that I'm at 38 weeks.

But maybe I just have a sensitive uterus?

I was just talking to a friend who had intense contrax a month early, was put on rest... then ended up going two weeks overdue and was trying everything without results.

For now we are just happy to resume enjoying sex and orgasms after being on pelvic rest and this baby seems content to stay in. I'm so curious to see if I will actually go to term! So I'm not trying super hard to start labor necessarily but maybe encourage some progress in that direction

My hubby keeps trying to "schedule it in" - like, we can have sex a bunch this week because it would be a good time for the baby to come I keep telling him she will thwart all our plans and come when she's ready!
RabbitDancer's Avatar RabbitDancer 12:21 AM 01-26-2009
At my last birth, my water broke (like, huge, dramatic waterfall gush, luckily at home!) two days before my EDD and I was starting to get desperate and uncomfortable when more than 24 hours passed with no contractions. So I got some suggestions from my sympathetic midwife and here's what I did; between all of these things, something worked.

* Making arrangements I was comfortable with for my two older kids and sending them away for the night, something that had been stressing me out since I wasn't sure where they would go during the birth

* Going out to dinner at a quiet place with my husband, just the two of us (this rarely happens)

* Going back home to a full-body massage in a quiet, relaxing atmosphere and having a drink, then having another (my midwife had assured me this would be just fine)!

* Orgasm and nipple stimulation (heh!)

* Acupressure on the "spleen 6" point

* Homeopathic gelsemium, caulophyllum (blue cohosh, I think), and cimicifuga (black cohosh?) in two doses -- I was in obvious active labor within about an hour and 15 minutes into starting this and the baby was born seven hours later

I would have sent my husband out for castor oil if I hadn't gone into labor by the next day, I think, but really wanted to avoid the raging diarrhea that can often accompany taking it, if at all possible! But at that point I would have been really desperate.

I wouldn't feel comfortable taking all these measures were I not clearly right on the verge of being 100% ready, but being basically homebound and sitting on a towel because of random gushes of amniotic fluid and being SO close to being done with being nine months pregnant was making me a desperate woman! So now that I know what worked for me last time I have my bag of tricks ready.
delighted.mama's Avatar delighted.mama 11:56 PM 01-28-2009
Does anyone know what the dosage is for vaginal EPO. My Dr. told me to take 1300 mg orally and to take some vaginally. The pills I bought are meant to be taken two at a time. Does that mean that 2 should go in vaginally? Sorry if this is TMI. I only used one last night because I didn't want to overdue it (if that is possible with vaginal EPO) Any advice is much appreciated! THANKS!
tak's Avatar tak 03:18 AM 01-29-2009
I've been drinking RRL tea, walking and bouncing/swaying on the birth ball. The walking brought on contractions but they stopped when I stopped walking. Had sex too, and I did lose my mucous plug later that day and had strong cramping, but no actual labour-inducing contractions.
skmama's Avatar skmama 10:43 AM 01-29-2009
From Jan DDC, but thought I'd answer since I've gone past my due date now. I'm trying all sorts of natural induction tricks. I am doing vaginal EPO, RRL tea, breast pump, squatting, and walking while holding toddler (sometimes).
nighten's Avatar nighten 01:46 PM 01-29-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by delighted.mama View Post
Does anyone know what the dosage is for vaginal EPO. My Dr. told me to take 1300 mg orally and to take some vaginally. The pills I bought are meant to be taken two at a time. Does that mean that 2 should go in vaginally? Sorry if this is TMI. I only used one last night because I didn't want to overdue it (if that is possible with vaginal EPO) Any advice is much appreciated! THANKS!
I'd say 1000+ vaginally depending on how far along you are and your comfort level, etc.

Here's a good guideline:

Quote:
The general recommendation is two 500mg capsules per day until week 38, at which time you increase to 3-4 per day. The entire capsule can be inserted vaginally (inserted just before bed, it will dissolve before the first time you wake to use the bathroom), or you can use the oil on your fingers for your perineal massage, then also rub on your cervix (assuming you can reach it). Applying directly to the cervix is optimal, but the beneficial ingredients are absorbed through the external skin or the stomach also.

tomsTXmom's Avatar tomsTXmom 04:07 PM 01-29-2009
Quick question:

If you're having having sex every other day, doesn't it seem to make sense that would do the same thing as EPO?

Tracy
skmama's Avatar skmama 05:52 PM 01-29-2009
I take a capsule at a time, cut it open, and pull the oil up into a syringe (one of those free ones you get from the pharmacy WITHOUT the needle). I keep doing this until I have a little more than a 1/4 teaspoon in the syringe (about 5 capsules). Some of the oil spills onto my fingers, of course, when I cut the capsules. I rub this onto my belly. It's supposed to be very good for dry skin, also.
I use the syringe vaginally (VERY CAREFULLY) and squirt the oil near the cervix. The syringe gets sanitized after every use to avoid introducing bacteria into vagina. In about 10-15 minutes, I can feel the prostaglandins in the oil working. Kind of like after you DTD. Doesn't cause any bleeding or discharge for me. Hope it's not TMI!!
crybaby's Avatar crybaby 05:55 PM 01-29-2009
I was 41 weeks preg. with my daughter, and I got an accupuncture treatment at 10 pm... she was born at 6 am
milky80's Avatar milky80 07:54 PM 01-29-2009
Since I am only 36 weeks I am not even thinking about this yet. I probably won't try anything to induce. I am a firm believer in doing things when the baby is ready.
JesiLynne's Avatar JesiLynne 09:27 PM 01-29-2009
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nighten's Avatar nighten 09:42 PM 01-29-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomsTXmom View Post
Quick question:

If you're having having sex every other day, doesn't it seem to make sense that would do the same thing as EPO?

Tracy
Sure. Both affect the effacement, so it makes sense to me.
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