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At my last appointment, I asked about natural induction methods, or ways to encourage labour, and my midwife gave me a list of things to try. I'm excited about a bunch of things on the list, and am wondering if anyone else is going to try anything, and at what point (how many weeks? 38? 40? 42?).<br><br>
Am I crazy to want to start trying things as soon as I get to full term? I know there's controversy about the effectiveness of natural induction methods (I've heard the "it won't work unless your body is already ready for it in the first place"), but it still seems like something to occupy me in the last few weeks when I'm going crazy with anticipation and discomfort.<br><br>
The things on the list include: nipple stimulation, homeopathic remedies, membrane stripping, induction massage, herbs (EPO and red raspberry tea specifically), sex/orgasm/semen applied to the cervix, acupressure or acupuncture, castor oil/enema (no thanks!), and positive visualization and preparing your mind for birth. I've done some research about the herbs, the acupressure, and nipple stimulation (hoping to break out the breast pump for this one!), and am eager to try those.
 

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I upped my RR Leaf tea (infusion) intake and took Evening Primrose Oil once I was about 37 weeks. Certainly didn't put me in labor early. A couple weeks after due date I tried lots of things with my first, and at 19 days past due castor oil did the trick.<br><br>
I wouldn't mess with my body and bring on labor like that (esp with herbs which you aren't supposed to take for very long, esp the cohoshes) unless there was a particular reason. Induction=intervention, which I'd rather avoid if possible.
 

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I wouldn't unless I felt uncomfortable about getting past my due date for some reason. I was induced by cervical stripping with my first, and looking back I kinda feel robbed that I didn't get the experience of going into labor naturally. I understand about that "YEAH! BRING IT!" feeling, though. It's good that you are getting yourself ready and researching.<br><br>
FWIW I have heard eo of clary sage rubbed externally on the belly (in a carrier oil) can help get contractions going, too, just to add another method to the list.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mataji4</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15383893"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I wouldn't mess with my body and bring on labor like that (esp with herbs which you aren't supposed to take for very long, esp the cohoshes) unless there was a particular reason. Induction=intervention, which I'd rather avoid if possible.</div>
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As I approached 42 wks last time I tried:<br>
acupuncture<br>
massage<br>
nipple stim<br>
pineapple<br>
spicy food<br>
sex<br>
walking<br>
increased RRL tea<br><br>
onyl because I didn't want an induction. I wouldn't do anything before that time.<br><br><br>
Th
 

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I don't think it is safe to try anything before 39 weeks. There was a recent study that showed this, and it is now recommended that elective inductions not happen before 39 weeks because too many babies were ending up in NICU for prematurity issues (37 weeks is no magic number - most babies are not fully cooked until 40 weeks). Even though these induction methods are "natural" you are still talking about an elective induction, for no medical reason at all. The research shows that is just not safe. If I was approaching 42 weeks, I would begin using some of these natural induction techniques in order to avoid a chemical induction because the research does show a greater risk of stillborns after 42 weeks. Some women naturally go that long and that is their family history and such, but I know for me that would be too long and I would opt to intervene at that point. With any induction technique there are risks, and I wouldn't be willing to take that risk unless there is a clear benefit that outweighs it.
 

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My doc has a comfort level of 43 weeks and I am planning a VBAC. I would not do anything to naturally induce until I was heading to that 43 week mark. Well, I guess I'd have sex but I don't consider that an intervention.
 

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I think it's a good idea to keep these things in mind. I wouldn't be against using EPO, sex, walking, and nipple stim but anything more than that I'd wait until there's a reason. The things I mentioned won't get your birthing time going unless you are really ready. With DS they wanted to induce me at 38 weeks because of mild glucose intolerance. I didn't feel this was necessary at all, but I did try lot of natural induction methods, including castor oil and breast pump, and had my midwife do a stretch and sweep twice. She said I was 2-3 cm, very soft and ready to go, but it still didn't work. He wasn't ready. And the castor oil made me feel sick and miserable for half the day. He was born a few days later at exactly 39 weeks. DD's pregnancy was the very same length, with no natural induction methods at all! So after all that, I guess what I mean to say is that I think you can do whatever you want--these things may help ripen your cervix but I don't think you'll go into pre-term labour because of them.
 

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I have read some not so great things about membrane stripping, I personally would avoid that one. With that said, my MW did it with my first pregnancy (did the research after). She did it and two weeks later I into labor... I think it was my body's time and had nothing to do with the procedure.<br><br>
With my second pregnancy I started inserting EPO capsules up my vajaja around the later part of 35 weeks to start to soften my cervix. I ended up having her at 37 weeks. My labor was half the time of my first and was way easier. I will be doing EPO again but I dint know when I will start. Whenever it feels like its time I will go for it.
 

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I'm comfortable with walking (including stairs, squats, lunges), pineapple and sex and will try the combo if I go too far overdue with this baby. On DD's due date I did a lot of walking with my doula, stairs etc, then drank RRL tea, ate pineapple, had sex and went to bed. My contractions started a few hours later. I think it was more a case of my body and baby being ready then anything I had done but I don't think anything I did was unsafe so will probably try it again.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the suggestions, ladies. Maybe I'm getting too impatient. It's just that I'm already so uncomfortable, what with my pelvic pain which started at 24 weeks, and can't imagine how much worse it can get in the next eight - ten weeks.<br><br>
I guess that it can't hurt to do these interventions, since as everyone says, they won't do anything unless baby and body are ready, right? If anything, EPO and RRL will ripen and tone things up. Walking is good exercise, sex can be good for lots of reasons, massage and acupressure (the clary sage sounds nice too, thanks craft_media_hero!) sound relaxing, so all in all, I don't think it any of these things can be harmful. My midwives are very hands-off and non-interventionist, so I don't feel any pressure to induce (natural or otherwise), but I think doing some of those things above will keep me occupied.
 

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Just remember, babies are a lot easier to take care of on the inside <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
I would stay away from the membrane stripping unless there was a medical need (highly uncomfortable and there is a risk of breaking the water and infection, and infections can sometimes be life threatening though that is rare), and the herbs, or the caster oil (which can cause unproductive contractions and stress a fetus out).
 

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Both my boys were born at 39 weeks, naturally. If, heavens forbid, I hit 40 weeks, I am going to go crazy, walk 10 miles, strip my own membranes, and take some blue and black cohosh.<br>
But I am not expecting that to happen, pretty sure miss edie will be here at the end of July.<br>
I did EPO vaginally with my first, but not my second and they both came at basically the same time.<br>
I totally disagree that babies are easier to take care of on the inside and I'm definitely sick of being pregnant already.<br>
I've seen castor oil work, and well, with no complications aside from the stomach cramping and diarrhea, but it's not a path I'd want to take unless I was 2+ weeks past my EDD. I would not want to be stuck on the toilet for my whole labor. I also don't have an issue with membrane stripping-- as a mom, doula, and apprentice midwife I've never seen any complications come from it but there's always a chance.<br>
I've heard clary sage can cause very strong contractions and I'm not sure I'd try it unless I was very desperate. It'd be last on my list, with blue/black cohosh coming in a step before.
 

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I feel for you! I get super uncomfortable too and then it backs off, and there is some relief of pubic/back pain before term. Hopefully it will back off for you soon!
 

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I'm have a history of big babies (10lb. 4 oz) and am having some blood sugar issues now and measuring 5 weeks (!) ahead. I'm planning on using one of these:<br><a href="http://www.birthjunkie.com/5week_formula.html" target="_blank">http://www.birthjunkie.com/5week_formula.html</a><br><a href="http://www.birthwithlove.com/categories/itempage.asp?prodid=Gentle+Birth+Formula-Mountain+Meadow+Herbs" target="_blank">http://www.birthwithlove.com/categor...n+Meadow+Herbs</a><br><br>
Not sure if they will help me actually go into labor early or not, but it's worth a shot.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MJB</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15385357"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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I totally disagree that babies are easier to take care of on the inside and I'm definitely sick of being pregnant already.</div>
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We must have very different types of babies, mine was definitely easier to manage on the inside. I am having some pelvic pain issues this time around, but I still don't get the concept of evicting baby early and taking risks to do so. I had my membranes stripped with ds without my consent and it was incredibly painful. I was very upset later when I researched it and found that it carries risks that I should have been informed about, including fetal death due to infection. Being pregnant for an extra week is not worth that kind of risk for me, no matter how small.
 

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I feel ya on the discomfort but we only get to have these babes inside our uteruses once. I am trying to remember that and enjoy these last couple of months.<br>
As far as things I have done in the past:<br>
With all of my pregnancies I drink copious amounts of RRL iced tea through my third tri. I actually like the flavor and I feel comfortable that it will not start labor, only tone my uterus for the main event. I also have a ridiculous sex drive when I'm pregnant so there was that too.<br>
My first was born at 10 days after EDD, I was very ripe (and a good 4-5cm), and she was waaaaay low. I did black and blue cohosh 2 days before she was born. I don't credit it with starting my labor, but it may have toned things some more. That labor was 6 hours and pretty intense.<br>
My second daughter was born at 39 weeks. At my midwife's suggestion, I did EPO orally beginning at 37 weeks and both orally and vaginally starting at 38 weeks. That labor was 4 hours and realllllly intense - dilated completely in 1 hour then another 3 to get her out.<br>
This time I will probably do the EPO again, but mainly because I was on the pill for 2 years before I got pregnant so I am concerned about some fibrosis on my cervix and I'd like to break that up before labor. My midwife is fine with me going to 42 weeks as long as baby is happy and 43 weeks is usually negotiable with her backup OB. My kiddoes go back to school Aug 5 (41 weeks for me) so it would be preferable to have her before that, but I'll deal if she decides to wait.
 

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jennica...........I also had my membranes stripped without my knowledge or consent. My OB did it at 38 weeks and I had no idea what he was doing or even what a membrane sweep was. I was wondering what the heck was going on and why I was so uncomfortable. It wasn't until that night when I called my Doula that I even knew what he'd done (she figured it out from my description and explained it to me).
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lrgs</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15386181"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">jennica...........I also had my membranes stripped without my knowledge or consent. My OB did it at 38 weeks and I had no idea what he was doing or even what a membrane sweep was. I was wondering what the heck was going on and why I was so uncomfortable. It wasn't until that night when I called my Doula that I even knew what he'd done (she figured it out from my description and explained it to me).</div>
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My midwife called it "massaging the cervix" and only told me what she was doing after I started getting very upset by the pain. She didn't stop though, she just kept doing and I wasn't even to my due date yet! I have no idea why she thought that was necessary. I think it is becoming really common to just do this in later pregnancy without getting consent, which is a good reason to avoid exams I guess.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jennica</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15386333"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My midwife called it "massaging the cervix" and only told me what she was doing after I started getting very upset by the pain. She didn't stop though, she just kept doing and I wasn't even to my due date yet! I have no idea why she thought that was necessary. I think it is becoming really common to just do this in later pregnancy without getting consent, which is a good reason to avoid exams I guess.</div>
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I've had it happen to clients so I always tell my classes to be sure to tell the doc/mw they don't want it done if they do consent to a VE (after I've explained that a VE is unnecessary and what the risks are vs the benefits, if any). They are always appalled that this happens and almost don't believe what I'm telling them. I always say "oh it happens! I'm not making this stuff up!"
 

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I used EPO with my second, but it was not to induce so much as soften and make it easier when I go into labor. Kind of the same way folks use RRL tea. I had it a little too easy and DD was an unexpected UC. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
I will do the EPO again for sure, but I don't start until 38 or 39 weeks. I will also have sex, but again, not to induce so much as to enjoy my hubby for the last time for several weeks.
 
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