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<p>I don't want to do anything aggressive that my body is not ready for, but I'd like to help get things ready.  I'm not trying to induce labor, but I've already had a few days of prodromal stuff and it is a bit frustrating, and I'm not wanting it to linger on for 3 more weeks. </p>
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<p>So would you think it would be okay to start these now (tonight at bedtime) given this history:</p>
<p>Two preemies from pPROM at 36 weeks and 33 weeks (but only after illness/complications)</p>
<p>Prodromal labor symptoms for the past few days: menstrual type cramps, bh contractions, frequent stools, losing some mucous plug</p>
<p>My appointment last week I was 1-2cm, 70% effaced, -1 station</p>
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<p>My thoughts are that it will either kick things into gear if my body is truly ready, and if not, it will help ripen things and get it ready for when the time comes.  I'm not going to do anything like nipple stimulation, cohoshes, or castor oil.</p>
 

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<p>37 weeks is considered full term. EPO isn't going to do much to stimulate labor, other than soften your cervix (I actually remember reading somewhere that semen has more prostaglandins, so maybe, you know...<span><img alt="winky.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="width:15px;height:15px;"></span>) I think most women start that at 36 weeks, and lots of women drink RRL throughout their pregnancies.</p>
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<p>I think if you're comfortable with it you should go ahead. None of that is going to make your body do something it's not ready to.</p>
 

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<p>Sounds ok to me, with my last pregnancy I started both around that time, and my son was born at 40w 1d (I actually went into labor quarter of midnight on my due date!)  But this time my MW think it's better not to start EPO till 40 w saying that because I am third time mom my cervix doesn't need any help, so I am going to try & hold off though I am sorely tempted!  </p>
 

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<p>I used both the past couple of pregnancies and it certainly did nothing to bring on labor sooner or change my prodromal labor pattern. I'm half heartedly using both again this time because I suppose I don't think it really has all that much effect.</p>
 

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<p>EPO contains prostaglandin precursors which are supposed to help the cervix ripen and soften, so that shouldn't be a danger for early labor--or, on the other hand, help bring it on.  It's just supposed to make the dilation and effacement go more smoothly.  Whether it actually does so if only taken orally is a matter of debate/opinion, and vaginal application is the method that shows better results scientifically.  As noted, though, there's something else that's easier and more pleasant to apply vaginally...</p>
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<p>RRL is supposed to tone the uterus, and as far as I know is best taken over a period of time.  I chugged plenty my last pregnancy, and goodness knows my uterus was plenty buff--20 minutes of pushing, and serious afterpains that brought my uterus down to size so fast that the midwives kept looking for it too high up.  As a sample size of one, I obviously cannot say whether the RRL had anything to do with it.  I've never heard that it can cause early labor, but I have heard that it can contribute to stiffer Braxton Hicks. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>On the other hand, I HAVE heard it hypothesized that taking substantial doses of a calcium/magnesium supplement for leg cramps can weaken uterine contractions, too, which does make sense, so FYI.</p>
 

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<p>Here are the directions on the handout that my midwife gives out for "Ripening the cervix and/or To induce Labor"...</p>
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<p><em>Ripen the cervix directly by using evening primrose oil 500mg capsules, insert 6-8 capsules behind the cervix every 8-12 hours.  You may use primrose oil 1300mg capsules and insert 3 capsules behind the cervix every 8-12 hours.  This will provide the raw materials the cervix needs to make more of its prostagladin's.  This will pripen the cervix remarkably in 24-36 hours.  Do not use with ruptured membranes.</em></p>
<p><em>37 weeks - once a day dosage</em></p>
<p><em>38 weeks - twice a day dosage</em></p>
<p><em>39-42 weeks - three times a day dosage</em></p>
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<p><em>Beginning at 36 weeks a cup of red raspberry leaf tea to tone the uterus.</em></p>
<p><em>Beginning at 38 weeks red raspberry leaf tincture 10-15 drops 4 times a day.  Bring the tincture for use in labor.  Also helps to prevent postpartum bleeding.</em></p>
 
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<p>About EPO, my midwife said this to me in an email: </p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
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<div>The recommendation is to start @ 37 weeks. There are two ways of doing it: either take 500mg three times a day and/or you can put the contents of a capsule in your vagina in contact with your cervix.</div>
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<p> </p>
<p>However, I am unsure whether I will do this, as I do need to go past my due date if I want my midwife (rather than the backup) to be here for my baby!</p>
 

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<p>My midwife suggested RRL tea throughout the third trimester, so I think you can drink that at anytime.  I will defer to others on the EPO.</p>
 

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<p>I decided to go ahead with the EPO but not the tea, since I heard it can give you diarrhea, which sounds just awful.  So I used some last night vaginally and will do so again tonight.  Other than that, I'm just still waiting and trying to keep busy.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Lousli</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1299114/37-weeks-tomorrow-are-rrl-tea-and-epo-safe-to-start#post_16275927"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I decided to go ahead with the EPO but not the tea, since I heard it can give you diarrhea, which sounds just awful.  So I used some last night vaginally and will do so again tonight.  Other than that, I'm just still waiting and trying to keep busy.</p>
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<br><br><p>I've never heard of nor experienced that with RRL -- in fact that's the first time I've ever heard of such a side effect. I've been drinking a very strong brew of it --a full handful in a quart of water-- for a few months (and have in every pregnancy) and have no observable side effects. I'd try it out for yourself and see if you have any issues.</p>
 

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<p>I agree on the RRL. I actually do a handful in a pint for my brew and have throughout 2 pregnancies now. I've never had any problems. I'm not sure that the RRL would be as effective for it's uterine toning properties at this point for you, but it's got lots of iron and vit c, so it's still a nice pregnancy tea!</p>
 

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<p>i have been taking EPO orally but i think i might do some vaginally tonight..</p>
<p> </p>
<p>RRL i have been having a a cup or two every day for a few days now</p>
 
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