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I posted this on the homebirth forum but wanted to pick your ladies brains too!!


Hi Ladies! I am just a few days shy away from my duedate (although this is the longest i have been pregnant with any of my pregnancies). my 40w1d appt is coming up this friday and I know MW and i will "begin" talks of ways to "naturally induce"...(IF you call inducing natural lol...but homebased ways of inducing instead of synthetic..so lesser of two evils i guess) babe and i are doing well so I don't think I will seriously try anything until we are closer to 41 weeks...but it has my mind thinking and i wanted to pick your brains as well....out of sex, walking, nipple stimulation, spicey foods, reflexology massages, acupuncter, blue/black cohosh, castor oil....etc (and i KNOW there are some i have forgotten or don't know of!) please place your choices in order of "i would try first" to "i would try last" (or "mild" to "not so mild on your body") and then state your reasons why you chose that order.
also, if you tried any of these with your past pregnancies and they worked, please states how far along you were, what method worked, and if you tried any that failed, what they were and when you tried them as well.

this thread is to help educate me to know what kinds of options are out there, how they affect you, and when each of you personally would try/avoid them.

thank you for your time and thought put into responding to this for me! i love this board!
oh! one more question/concern...the stripping of membranes. now this is something that would probably be a last resort for me as i know stripping them can cause an accidental rupture and i do NOT want my membranes ruptured for as long as possible....but i do think i had my membranes "swept" with my second dd and i went into labor with her that night...would you guys consider this a natural induction, or more medicalized? and when would you consider doing it...etc?
 

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Hi littlelambs


I personally feel that membrane stripping is rather too invasive a procedure - I feel that the membranes must exist for a reason and stay put for a good reason until they're ready to "go". I asked to have my membranes stripped at 38+ wks for ds2 because I wanted to secretly homebirth and they were pressuring me to go into labor by 40 weeks so as to be able to have the in hospital birth center instead of the regular L&D - it was a painful waste of time. (I then was bullied into an induction at 39wks via cervadil and augmented with AROM). I think the membrane stripping is again, invasive, medicalized and a symptom of overmanaging womens bodies.

Natural induction always struck me as an oxymoron. INduction is attempting to thwart the course nature set out (though we guess at what course or length nature wants to take us!) so how can it be very natural, as you point out yourself with your quotations.


Herbs are powerful things and honestly I feared messing around with them. The most I did for herbs was more for pregnancy (RRL tea, alfalfa). There are members here more knowledgable about them than I that can answer more specifically. At best in my mind, herbs may do nothing b/c your body isn't totally ready and neither may be the baby, or they may make you feel uncomfortable/sick (like castor oil or black and blue cohosh) or make labor feel more intense than you can handle and wear you out.
 

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What Jesse said.
I'll add that I took castor oil with my first, and it was a horrible experience. I know many who take it and are fine (as induction, mine was used as an augmentation, which probably was why it was so awful as I was so exhausted so my body just couldn't deal with the extra stress) but I personally would just not want to risk it getting through to the baby. Same with blue cohosh.

Not that it will necessarily induce, but it will help get your body ready: orgasm, orgasm, orgasm, as often and as strong as you can muster.
 

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I went 37 weeks, 2 days with my first and 41 weeks, 5 days with my second. I did nothing to induce, feeling that the baby would come when ready. I did get a little concerned and was thinking about a biophysical, but I am not comfortable with the risks associated with induction.
 

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I too believe that baby should come naturally and any induction can lead to other problems. With that said, I did try castor oil once. Disgusting. It only made me sick. Walking has never worked for me. I waited tables for all of 3 of my pgs and did a ton of walking - no help. I do think what brought ds2, though, was nipple stimulation. We did it often before his due date because I was worried about going late and mws insisting I go to the hospital to be induced. My labor with ds started on his EDD. For me it brought on pretty sharp crampy contracts until labor started on its own.

I would never induce now that I know the risks unless I felt something was really wrong and I had to. I trust my body and baby to make that decision for me. I wouldn't let my impatience and pressure from outside influences sway me now.
 

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Sex, sex and more sex and hopefully there is an orgasm somewhere in there...we absolutely swear by this


But really, babe will come when babe is ready, the sex/prostaglandin/orgasm will only work if the cervix is ripe and ready and no one knows that but babe!
 

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I don't do lesser of two evils with birth. I don't want any evils. My 1st was born 11 days past my due date (hospital waterbirth). My 2nd was 6 days past. Even w/ my first I wasn't considering inducing. I was more interested in natural induction techniques then, because if I'd continued longer I would have had to fight. But with my UC, no fighting.
So anyway...I really think we should leave our babies alone and let them come when they decide.

That said, sex can really help soften the cervix and feels good too. I don't think we should AVOID things that can help-I just don't want to do something to try to induce (stripping membranes, castor oil, etc.). I would try nipple stim to speed a slow labor if I was getting tired but was in real labor. I wouldn't try to induce w/ it though.
 

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I had a UP/UC with #3. Since I had gone 11-14d overdue with my other two pregnancies, I decided to try acupunture with dd2. I had the 'induction' treatment on her due date, and she was born 8 days later.

I didn't feel that the labor was 'pushed', rather, that energy was cleared to make space for my labor to begin. My actual labor was an easy 5 hours (so easy that I didn't think I was really in labor the first couple hours) and an 8 minute 2nd stage. DD started up right away and showed no signs of being postdate.

While I think I naturally carry babies longer then 40w, it felt like the acupuncture was the perfect way to clear the energy so that labor could begin when baby was ready for it. I wish I had tried it with my other pregnancies!
 

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You know, I had my membranes stripped with my first (due to pre-e that was confirmed with blood work) and while I definitely needed that (or to be hospitalized to prevent seizure), I would *never* do it again unless I was facing hospitalization again. It made labor go on and on and on vs. if it had started on its own.

I also did nipple stimulation for that labor and again, I wouldn't do that - it made my ctx. come like a train over and over - overwhelming. Not everyone has this experience, but my body does this.

I believe babies choose their own birth days for a purpose (be it positional, lung maturation, fat storing, etc.)... but when it goes to a medical need (very post dates (like 42+w), pre-e, etc.) then I'd start with something gentle.
 
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