natural labor induction at 37 weeks? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 07-07-2011, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi All,

I've had two babies, 6 and 4 years ago via c-section. I really wanted to try a VBAC, but my doctor says if I don't go into labor on my own by 39 weeks, she's going to do a c-section. ARGH. So, I am wondering: do the black and blue cohoshes work? I've been having more and more frequent contractions, closer together, but they're still not very painful - alot like Braxton Hicks.


Just curious if anyone has any ideas. I would LOVE to VBAC, just frustrated.


I also have one copy of the clotting disorder Factor V Leiden and one copy of MTHFR.



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#2 of 10 Old 07-07-2011, 07:51 PM
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I don't have enough knowledge of the cohosh herbs to give any advice there, but I'd be very hesitant to try and make the baby come before it's done cooking anyway.

It sounds like your OB wants to do a c section without any medical reason, and before your EDD even! What is the reason--just because you've had previous c sections? It makes no sense. It sounds to me that she is not actually supportive of VBAC at all ("sure you can have your VBAC, as long as it's before 39 weeks!") Unless I'm missing a big part of the story, that is not evidence-based medicine. I'm sorry you're in this position.

All I can say is nobody can perform surgery on you without your informed consent. I would simply inform the doc that as long as you and your baby are both doing well, you will not be consenting to a c section. If there's a valid medical reason, that's different, but it's in your and your baby's best interest to let nature take its course until intervention is actually necessary.

I'm sorry if my words sound harsh. I know too many people who have had unnecessary c sections and/or had their babies taken too early because of OBs unwilling to support the natural process.

ETA: I just realized I missed the part about the clotting disorder & MTHFR. I am not familiar with either--but unless either condition makes it necessary to get the baby out early (I can't see why but maybe there is a valid reason?) I still would not consent to a c section at 39 weeks. Hope some more experienced mamas chime in.
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#3 of 10 Old 07-08-2011, 04:56 AM
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I would never take blue cohosh without the supervision of a midwife.  There are risks like fetal heart attack.  Too scary for me!  I do take black cohosh, which is an ingredient in Nature's Sunshine 5W.  I've been taking that since 36 weeks I think. 


Another self-induction method you might want to consider is castor oil.  I did that with my last baby at 40w2d to avoid and induction and was successful.  However, I also tried it last night to avoid an induction for next Wednesday and it did NOT work.  All I got was another hemorrhoid.  eyesroll.gif  You really have to be ready in order for it to work.

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#4 of 10 Old 07-08-2011, 07:18 AM
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Many hospitals schedule repeat c-sections at 39 weeks because it's considered a "safe" gestation and reduces the risk that mom will go into labor before delivery (which would increase the small risk of uterine rupture).


But you certainly don't have to agree to any surgery if you are not comfortable, unless your doctor feels that your clotting factors are an issue and delivery is medically indicated.


I definitely wouldn't want to self-induce at 37 weeks.  Baby is not done growing and maturing yet.  A lot can happen in the next 2 weeks as far as going into labor naturally.

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#5 of 10 Old 07-08-2011, 11:45 AM
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 Ditto to PPs. There is absolutely no reason an O.B. Should have to do a C Section when you're not term, not in labor already and it's not medically necessary! REFUSE! It's your right. You don't have to be a 'good patient' and cooperate with a procedure you're not comfortable with. I know of a mom who had a C-Section just because, it was 'close enough' to her date...and She'd had a previous one...Well the baby wasn't quite ready, had bad jaundice, had breathing problems and had to stay in the NICU. The recovery and rick of excessive bleeding is worse with a C-Sec.


 Usually Docs want to cut, because they are trying to cover their own behinds, because it makes them feel all in control when you're the one who really should be running the show, and Cutting is exciting for them. It's their job. So don't let them talk you into anything that you dont want! You CAN Have your V-BAC!!!! Don't let anyone tell you different!

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#6 of 10 Old 07-08-2011, 12:53 PM
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I have MTHFR, you cannot do cohoshes at all, you could cause yourself to bleed internally.  I know that with MTHFR they like you to be delivered by 39 weeks in case there are placenta or cord issues.  I would not do castor oil. 


I would talk to your practioner and get a non-Stress test and see how the baby is reacting.  As long as the NST's are good, I would wait and see when you go into labor.  Good luck!!


Take care,



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#7 of 10 Old 07-08-2011, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the advice, ladies. It all sounds good.


It is *so* frustrating to me that it seems my options are:

a. deliver at home

b. deliver at the hospital via c-section


I really hope I go into labor before the 39 weeks. I guess I still have 11 days. Thank you!

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#8 of 10 Old 07-09-2011, 08:52 AM
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This is just my own experience, but what I did with DD seemed to be successful, or maybe just coincidence, who knows.....I was being pressured to induce at 39 weeks, due to a number of complications. So, I did try self-induction, but after reading and researching, I wasn't comfortable with taking anything. The thing that I think was most successful was squats while visualizing the cervix thinning and stretching. There are great pictures in one of my Bradley books, but basically visualizing the cervix pulling back, thinning out over the baby's head, like a turtleneck sweater, and opening. It seemed like the squatting really helped me with feeling where to direct the thoughts. I also did nipple stimulation (but not real regularly), sex, and lots of meditation with the same visualization. The second day, about 24 hours after starting all of this, but still having had no contractions AT ALL, went to the midwife. She checked, and I was 5 cm, 80% effaced, even though baby hadn't dropped yet. My water broke on its own 2 hours later, and I delivered 5 hours after that. Again, just my own experience, and who knows if it was what I did, or just coincidence, but I thought I'd share.

Good luck!

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#9 of 10 Old 07-09-2011, 03:04 PM
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You can refuse the c-section. No doctor or hospital can force you to have surgery. If you have to, just wait until you are fully in labor before going to the hospital. The hospital cannot refuse to admit you just because you won't consent to a medically unnecessary surgery. Be careful about any consent forms you sign. Read the fine print and cross out, initial and date anything you don't consent to, such as surgery. Also, make sure you verbally inform all hospital staff you come in contact with of those things you did not consent to. That still gives you the option to consent to it at any time during your stay at the hospital.

I have a possible blood clotting disorder and a MTHFR double mutation. I take 81 mg aspirin every day until 36w to help prevent miscarriage. My first was born via c-section. My 2nd was an induced VBAC at 40w1d. My 3rd was a homebirth and I am planning a homebirth for this baby due in a few weeks.

Oops. Forgot to add that I would not do anything to try to induce labor before baby is really ready. Just because the medical community has decided that a baby is full term at 37w doesn't mean it's perfectly safe or fine or good for most babies to be born then. The only reason for that designation is because most babies lungs are fully formed by 37w so it's not expected that they would need help breathing if born then. However, many babies born at 37w do still have breathing problems as well as other issues. I just read the other day that babies born between 37 and 39 weeks are twice as likely to die in the first year than babies born at 40 weeks. Plus, there are possible links between early term births (which is the medical term for babies born between 37 and 39w) and developmental issues/special needs. It is not something to take lightly.

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#10 of 10 Old 07-09-2011, 03:45 PM
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39 weeks is a very typical time for a schedule C-section, that's the problem with using an OB & that's what I was in for if I didn't change hospitals.  Like at least let me go into labor & then section me if it has to be done that way.


I don't know about those herbs & would be very cautious with those 2.  You can try Evening Primrose Oil, Homeopathy, lots of sex, acupuncture, massage, etc.,  but I don't know that you can make yourself go into labor before the baby is ready.


I am nearing my due date & trying to avoid another C-section.  My midwives won't make me get one early & will try everything possible to get me to go naturally, stripping membranes, increases doses of homeopathic meds, etc.  I know that I can't go past 2 weeks though...the thought of being late again makes me cringe.


Maybe you negotiate for the C-section to be closer to your due date so you have a better chance or just flat our refuse like PPs.

"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."- Albert Einstein

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