Ways to encourage labor? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 09-25-2010, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is how desperate I am. (I'm nowhere near ready to try to encourage labor, just gathering info for later on.)

Last night at Outback our waitress asked when I was due ("Thanksgiving.") ("Oh, really? Wow.") and how I was feeling ("I'm so done with being pregnant.")

I've never felt this "done" this early before. It must be another one of those things like BH & after-pains that gets worse with each pregnancy.

So far, all of my babies have come on their own terms, right on their due dates. My mw has, in the past, offered to strip my membranes because I've been 4-5 cm dilated for a good month+ before my EDDs and have fast labors (I think she was a little nervous about me dropping babies on their heads at the grocery store. ) But I always declined any membrane sweeps and just let things happen on their own. Aside from sex, I never really encouraged labor. I guess with Ds I drank a lot of RRL the day I went in labor, but I have no idea if it did anything.

SO, here I am at 31 weeks feeling SOOOO done with being pregnant. I know I have quite a while yet, but I'm already thinking that maybe once I hit 37-38 weeks, I might want to do some things to encourage labor.

The thing is, I'd rather stick to things that will only work if your cervix & baby are ready, kwim? I keep reading September's threads about these poor overdue mamas who have tried everything under the sun with no results, so I guess sometimes if cervix or baby aren't ready, nothing's going to work.

I think evening primrose oil is one, right? I have gel capsules of that - how do you use that? How does it work? Around 37-38 weeks, would you start taking it orally and rubbing it on your cervix (is that what you do with it? If so, how does one manage that at that point?? )

Sex. Labor started just an hour or two after we dtd with Dd1, but who knows if that's what got it started. It didn't work with the next 2 babies. I'll still try...

Nipple stimulation. I think I'll really give this one a try this time. We never really did that - though Dd2 nursed a lot throughout my pregnancy with Ds and nothing happened. But DP likes playing with them when they're so big and full, so I figure it shouldn't be as....acrobatic as having sex.

Stripping of membranes - I'd be nervous about doing that at my midwife's office because it's 35 minutes from my home. Doing it at my home would be different... If my labors were longer it would be fine, but an hour-long labor doesn't give me much time to get home and I don't want to have my baby alone on a rural country road in November.

Is anyone else fantasizing about encouraging labor yet?

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#2 of 28 Old 09-25-2010, 11:19 AM
 
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I am, because my labors are so fast that I just want it to happen in a controlled environment. I'm planning a waterbirth at a hospital 30 min away from us. DH isn't comfortable with homebirth, or that's totally what I'd be aiming for. It still may happen that way just by "accident", and we do have a birth kit here just in case.

I had dd at 40w 2d , and ds at 40w 4d. With dd I did nothing. With ds we tried stripping my membranes at 40 wks, and I had tons of contractions, but no cervical change. Then we tried nipple stimulation, which produced tons of conractions, but they kept petering out, so we went to bed and I woke up at 4 am in labor. Had him at 5:45.

This time, my mw suggested me coming into the hospital and starting pit to get contractions going and then turning it off when I went into labor, but I'm not comfortable with that at all. I also don't think I'd bother with stripping membranes again, unless I were 41 weeks and I was getting threatened with an induction. Of course I could also just stay home, but I know myself, and I'm sure I'll be ready to try anything to go into labor at that point!

I truly believe your baby and body are ready when they're ready and no sooner, but on the other hand, I know that the weeks leading up to the birth are tortuous in their own way with being uncomfortable, prodromal labor, anticipation, etc. And for me, there's the added fears of where I'll be when I go into labor, will DH be home (heaven forbid he's at work 40 min away in the middle of the night, on a call [he's a firefighter/paramedic]), will we get someone here on time to watch the kids, etc. Ugh. I'm working myself up just thinking about it!

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#3 of 28 Old 09-25-2010, 11:30 AM
 
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I know exactly how you feel... im so ready to be done.. but on the other hand I still have things to do before baby comes and like you I still have lots of time.. im 34 weeks tomorrow..not term for another 3 weeks.. I cant imagine baby coming on its own before 38-39 weeks..so that's well.. pretty soon I guess...

I have been reading up on this too though and part of me feels horrible and terrible for it and part of me thinks that if I want this baby so badly he will come on his own a wee bit early (a girl can dream, right?).. like his brother did..and I have no idea why he came sooner than his sisters.. it boggles my mind!

I have been bad about it lately, but I plan to start drinking my RRL tea every day and taking EPO. I dont know if I would go for sweeping my membranes before being "overdue". I never have till 41+ weeks ( I have had two 42+ weekers (my last) and a 39 weeker (my first)

I dont know though.. maybe once I hit 37 weeks I will be freaking out that I need more time. it always seems to be the way. plus I thought for some reason that I was 32 going on 33 weeks not 33 going on 34 and all of a sudden it feels very near

ETA: I am a strong believer that babies come when they are ready as well, and I trust my baby and body so as much as im impatient, I wouldn't do anything more than what I have mentioned above.. and i have survived 2 42 week gestations and I know I can do it again and I want to do it just as gracefully as I did then.. I didnt freak out or get depressed.. I used to time to snuggle my LO's and knit extra stuff and nest extra hard (which i need in this new not quite finnished house) and once baby comes It will feel like they have been here forever and those last few weeks will not feel so bad at all.

 

 

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#4 of 28 Old 09-25-2010, 11:53 AM
 
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My m/w's have a specific 'program' to follow, it worked okay for me last time, I had the baby right at my due date. I start taking EPO orally at 36 weeks, 1000mg a day, and then at 37 weeks a homeopathic called EZ Birth and then at 38 weeks an additional 1000mg of EPO vaginally. They also encourage lots of RRL throughout pregnancy. Hard to say if any of that actually makes a difference, she probably would have come at the same time anyway, but it felt good to be doing something when I was 'done'.

I'm feeling 'done' already in the sense that I hate feeling so close yet so far. I've been so busy getting ready this time, I can't wait to be term so I can just sit back and exist and enjoy the wait. Once I'm 37 weeks I will welcome whatever happens. Just think, sometime in the next 3-8 weeks I should have a new baby!

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#5 of 28 Old 09-25-2010, 11:57 AM
 
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With #1, they threatened me with induction on monday (it was Friday). My dh (then just friend) bought me a whole pineapple as he heard it would help-he's a chemist. We ate it, walked around walmart and went on a bumpy car ride. I went into labor that night and had her on her due date. With #4, I was desperate, in pain, and miserable. Overdue 6 days by u/s (though the real one by my ovulation was the day she was really born), I tried everything. From 36 weeks I started epo internally and by mouth. Sex almost every day, long walks, tried an external castor pack once, ate something like 4 whole pineapples...everything but internal castor oil or cohoshes that I found to b somewhat safe. Nothing worked until I gave up and decided I would be pregnant forever. I didn't bother cleaning my house, ate a ton if ribs at Outback, made Xmas eve plans with the kids, had sex, and woke up in labor on Xmas eve morning which left me I'll prepared. More evidence the gods are laughing at me.

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#6 of 28 Old 09-25-2010, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yours made me laugh, Kitty.

I'll have to remember the pineapple!

Acupuncture too ~ some have had luck with that.

I think in the end, I'll just wait until my EDD and perhaps if I go over, I'll start trying stuff. It would be cool to have all of my babies born on their EDDs.

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#7 of 28 Old 09-25-2010, 03:31 PM
 
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You'd literally have to eat like 7 pineapples for it to work...

I've tried e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

All of my babies were born around 42 weeks by induction.... I think I'm one of those lovely breed of women that cooks well past 42 weeks. I've tried sex, walking, bouncing, nipple stim (don't recommend this!), more sex, walking up and down stairs to get things going amongst a few other things.

I refuse to use castor oil because it just doesn't seem like a good idea to me, though I would maybe do an enema at home to see if it wouldn't help move things along in a similar manner.

Around 36 weeks I intend to start using EPO and drinking my RRL tea more religiously. I'm afraid to really drink the RRL right now because it does produce wicked cramping/contractions for me... I figure I must be sensitive. I've heard that with the EPO you gradually increase it. You take it by mouth and also insert the capsules vaginally. There was a thread recently on the main I'm pregnant board.

I don't recommend membrane sweeps. They never worked for me, lol. I had mine stripped 3 days in a row according to my doctor's belief that it doesn't work if it's just one day... so I went in 3 days in a row to have mine sweeped and NOTHING. A big fat nothing. I was so deflated and discouraged after that... I had no cervical changes and it was depressing. That's when I opted for the induction that almost ended quite badly... it was my worst induction yet and part of why I really want to have this one my way, on my terms.

Nic, loving mama to 5 with a SURPRISE 6th on the way.

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#8 of 28 Old 09-25-2010, 06:12 PM
 
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Membrane sweeps and nipple stim. both never helped me, either.

As for 7 pineapples- as long as it's raw, even 1/2 of one should theoretically do something. NOT canned or heated or processed. The problem herein lies that even eating 1/4 of a raw pineapple will lead to a sore, raw, bleeding mouth that feels like you just ate a box of nails. Eating the whole thing? I cried. Then eat a whole one every other day and just try to take a drink of water without wishing for death. NOT a good idea for that already uncomfortable last month of pregnancy, but hey, I was desperate.

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#9 of 28 Old 09-25-2010, 06:20 PM
 
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Wow, I had almost the exact scenario as you, Demeter. My DD came at 42 weeks. I tried everything it seems, except the castor oil. I just didn't want to go there. I had my membranes stripped too, and nothing. I think I even ate a lot of pineapple. I ended up getting induced, which almost ended in a c-section 2 days later. Fortunately, everything worked out and I had the birth naturally in the end. With this one I am trying to be patient, and will definitely not get induced, but I think when I hit 37 weeks I am going to be trying everything again. I know I have plenty of stuff left to do, but I can't wait for baby!

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#10 of 28 Old 09-25-2010, 06:30 PM
 
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I love pineapple, and I over do it sometimes...so yes, the raw, tingly, prickle mouth? It hurts. Don't think I'll be doing that one to encourage labour, but if it works, the mouth pain may distract from the contractions.

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#11 of 28 Old 09-25-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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I love pineapple, and I over do it sometimes...so yes, the raw, tingly, prickle mouth? It hurts. Don't think I'll be doing that one to encourage labour, but if it works, the mouth pain may distract from the contractions.
It didn't for me, it just made it worse because even talking or yelling hurt after that whole pineapple.

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#12 of 28 Old 09-25-2010, 11:02 PM
 
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Membrane sweeps and nipple stim. both never helped me, either.

As for 7 pineapples- as long as it's raw, even 1/2 of one should theoretically do something. NOT canned or heated or processed. The problem herein lies that even eating 1/4 of a raw pineapple will lead to a sore, raw, bleeding mouth that feels like you just ate a box of nails. Eating the whole thing? I cried. Then eat a whole one every other day and just try to take a drink of water without wishing for death. NOT a good idea for that already uncomfortable last month of pregnancy, but hey, I was desperate.

Actually.. really it's something like 7 pineapples for there to be enough of the chemical that causes you to contract. I forget where I read it but I read it AFTER I had given myself a raw, sore mouth from eating ONE whole pineapple to myself. It's totally put me off pineapple pretty much forever. I was 41 weeks and NOTHING happened, I don't think I even had a contraction... just a sore mouth.

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#13 of 28 Old 09-26-2010, 12:30 AM
 
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I went to a talk today about acupressure points to help your body get ready for labour. One was to help baby drop, one was to help ripen the cervix, and one...can't remember what it was for. And there were 2 to help induce - one on the inner calf and one between your thumb and index finger.

I am soooooo in this boat! I investigated, and dh's extended medical plan has healthy allowances for chiropractor care and acupuncture, both of which can help induce labour. I intend to do both.

Having this baby before my due date would be soooo nice...unlikely, but nice.

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#14 of 28 Old 09-26-2010, 07:40 AM
 
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I went to a talk today about acupressure points to help your body get ready for labour. One was to help baby drop, one was to help ripen the cervix, and one...can't remember what it was for. And there were 2 to help induce - one on the inner calf and one between your thumb and index finger.

I am soooooo in this boat! I investigated, and dh's extended medical plan has healthy allowances for chiropractor care and acupuncture, both of which can help induce labour. I intend to do both.

Having this baby before my due date would be soooo nice...unlikely, but nice.
acupressure is pretty effective and you can do it on yourself or have someone do it for you without formal training. acupuncture is amazing as well, but then you have to pay for it. im trained in acupressure, so im kind of biased, but either one can really help..

 

 

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#15 of 28 Old 09-26-2010, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was thinking last night....if your cervix is already 4-5cm dilated and you're already about 90% effaced - will any of these things help? The purpose of EPO is to ripen the cervix, correct? But at that dilation/effacement, it's already pretty ripe. Maybe at that point your body is just waiting on the signal from baby...

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#16 of 28 Old 09-26-2010, 01:09 PM
 
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Except for castor oil and nipple stim, almost all of these do help your cervix. If your cervix is set, they probably won't hurt, but until your baby sends that signal, it won't start things for sure.

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#17 of 28 Old 09-26-2010, 02:45 PM
 
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what the heck is in the pineapple that is supposed to have that effect?


i puked twice this pregnancy, about two months and a month ago...both times after eating pineapple which was quite bizarre to me really as I have never been allergic to it and have always enjoyed it...

Why not nipple stim. Nic? Im curious to know.

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#18 of 28 Old 09-26-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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For me it does nothing, lol, other than make my nips sore and only caused contractions while I was doing it... they went away after I stopped, even if I was doing it for a long time... With my daughter my breasts actually were engorged for days after, it was bizarre!!

Really, I've just found that all natural induction methods I've tried haven't work, made me feel discouraged, lol. I'm not even getting anything in my head this time around... will try a few things but as a matter of course not with the idea to actually induce labor.

Nic, loving mama to 5 with a SURPRISE 6th on the way.

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#19 of 28 Old 09-26-2010, 03:52 PM
 
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Pineapple:

http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/pineapple.html

Bromelaine (also in other fruit and best with an empty stomach) is the enzyme that is supposed to reduce inflammation.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5...?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3...?dopt=Abstract

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#20 of 28 Old 09-26-2010, 04:28 PM
 
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I can't recall the website I read where you had to eat it in abundance but I distinctly recall it was more than one pineapple.... really what I think it is, would be eating that much pineapple is likely to give you the runs.... same as castor oil. If you aren't ready to go into labor yet... you won't, same as any other method. I ate one whole pineapple with my daughter and felt nothing more than raw mouth and sick with terrible acid stomach. We had another pineapple leftover that went bad because I refused to touch it...

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#21 of 28 Old 09-26-2010, 04:45 PM
 
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Yeah, it took me almost a year to eat pineapple again after I had #4!

The problem is the research is inadequate and old and so most websites just have (often contradicting) opinions on how much is necessary or how it actually works. It seems to help with swelling at the very least, but it certainly won't *make* you go into labor even if you eat a ton. It does not work the same as castor oil, either. It's a protein digesting enzyme and so won't induce contractions of smooth muscle tissue, but helps, theoretically, soften the cervix and reduce cervical inflammation to facilitate dilation. The smooth muscle correlation of bromelain is not scientifically proven and usually thrown out as one of the hundreds of ways bromelain might help any given thing. It possibly acts as a smooth muscle *relaxant*. The role of smooth muscle relaxants and it's interaction with labor is a bit above my head at the moment.

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/bromelain-000289.htm

One thing to be wary of, however, is it possibly can increase bleeding: http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/herb.../Bromelain.htm

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...4&searchtype=a

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...4&searchtype=a

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#22 of 28 Old 09-26-2010, 07:43 PM
 
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i love pineapple but trying to find it in my town come november my be like trying to find a fish in a tree

none of my midwives ever recommended it anyways..


i think if you are already 4-5cm and 80% effaced you are well on your way.. a S&S may work at that point but most of the other methods probably will probably not trigger labor im thinking...when i went into labor with my 3rd i was like 4 stretched to 5 and 80% but it still took a whole morning & afternoon till she was born (at 6 something in the evening)

 

 

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#23 of 28 Old 09-27-2010, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i think if you are already 4-5cm and 80% effaced you are well on your way.. a S&S may work at that point but most of the other methods probably will probably not trigger labor im thinking...when i went into labor with my 3rd i was like 4 stretched to 5 and 80% but it still took a whole morning & afternoon till she was born (at 6 something in the evening)
I've been that far along for a full *MONTH* with baby at zero station and it's SOOOO uncomfortable. I still wouldn't call it prodromal labor, just that my BHs are doing something for quite some time.

Is S&S stripping membranes? I have this gut feeling that it would work - but then I wonder why sex doesn't reliably work. Maybe there's a length issue. (omg, DP would kill me if he knew I said that on MDC. )

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#25 of 28 Old 09-27-2010, 12:44 PM
 
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Is S&S stripping membranes? I have this gut feeling that it would work - but then I wonder why sex doesn't reliably work. Maybe there's a length issue. (omg, DP would kill me if he knew I said that on MDC. )
OMG, I had the same thought!

Glad to know about the pineapple. I wondered how that worked with the mouth thing. I've craved pineapple this whole pregnancy and feel like I constantly have a sore mouth.
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#26 of 28 Old 09-27-2010, 12:54 PM
 
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You guys are hysterical! Semen is a prostaglandin, so I don't think that in this case (as long as mama's happy), that size matters!

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Nice to have a good laugh this morning.

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stay at home mom to 2 girls 11/20/03,3/09/07 and 2 boys  2/28/05 and 11/16/10 and one on the way 1/13/12

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haha! With my DD, sex was the thing that FINALLY triggered labor to kick into full gear, but I don't credit it for starting labor. And then afterwards, I was really upset with myself for trying to rush things along. After a few hours of really hard back labor, I asked if I could take something to make it stop so I could go home and start over!

Other things I tried: pineapple (from a can--didn't read very carefully I guess!), castor oil, spicy food, bumpy car ride, accupressure points, EPO vaginally, etc.... and nothing worked until I was actually in labor.

This time, I am committed to getting this baby turned into a good position for labor (currently posterior) before I even think about wanting labor to begin. Also, we just ordered a bunch of stuff for a kitchen renovation that has to be finished before our midwife's home visit! I have waaaaay too much to do before this baby arrives!

Mama to DD (10/8/08) and expecting someone new in November!
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