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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
salaam...

i am currently 37 weeks pregnant... expecting my third... my first VBAC (i hope!)...

my midwives recommended i take dr. christopher's prenatal formula, which has squawvine, blessed thistle, black cohosh, pennyroyal, false unicorn root, red raspberry leaf, and lobelia...

they also recommended i take evening primrose oil...

now i know that stuff like nipple stimulation, sex, long walks etc... none of these will do much unless my body is already getting ready for labor... so i'm wondering if it's the same thing with some of these herbs??? my body is DEFINATELY already getting ripe... my cervix is starting to descend and feels REALLY soft and it feels like it's starting to open up a bit... so taking that into consideration, are the herbs i was taking going to help or potentially hurt? i was initially taking them for "cervical ripening"... but now i'm wondering if i should just let nature take it's course.

help!

thankyou!
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Personally I'd be wary of taking black cohosh. That is meant to put you into labor from what I've read. I can see if you were 42 weeks, but at 37 weeks, not really even term, I wouldn't start with that.

The other things like rrl tea and epo, are for cervix ripening and uterus toning (the tea) and are perfectly safe from everything I have heard. I know people who have taken the epo in order to avoid an induction since it supposedly prepares your cervix. Neither one of these will send you into labor though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the info!


the thing is though that 37 weeks would be normal for me... my son was born ON his edd, my daughter at 37 weeks... and i'm starting to get that *feeling* you know? with my daughter, i told everyone i thought i wasn't gong to make it to my due date and no one believed me, including my midwife... because "everyone feels that way"... but lo and behold a few days later i was in labor. lol... i can feel things starting to happen... i'm nauseous, REALLY nauseous every day, and like i said things are already starting to ripen down there... i wouldn't even consider taking anything if things weren't already under way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
salaam

i guess for the same reason i would take black cohosh... definately not something that you want to take during pregnancy until you actually go into labor.

but my question is whether or not any of this would cause problems if i'm already in the early stages of labor... like walking and sex and other "natural" ways of speeding up labor wont, and medical interventions like pitocin do (in my experience)... so where does taking herbs fit in all this?

thanks
 

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From what I have heard from people who deal with herbs a lot, you really should look at them like you would pitocin. They are something you would probably want to try instead of pit if you needed to be induced for some reason, but not something you want to mess with if it's not necessary. Not all herbs fall into this catagory, but the ones for starting labor do. Just because they are natural doesn't mean they are risk free. I had my first ds at 37 weeks and then ds 2 didn't come along until 39 weeks so I know what the waiting is like. I even asked my Bradley teacher who sells herbs about taking black cohosh at 38 weeks and she said absolutely not, but come back if you get to 42 weeks. If you are really starting to go into labor (which it sounds like you might be
) then you will do it with or without the herbs. Sending healthy labor vibes your way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ok so i saw my midwife this morning and i asked about the herbs... she said that the dosage is not enough to INDUCE labor, and that all it will do is help ripen things down there a bit... the whole reason they (my midwives) suggested using herbs is because this is a VBAC and the hospital is putting pressure on me to do a repeat c birth as soon as i step foot in the hospital. because of this and the fact that my first two births involved really long labors, we're waiting until the very last minute to go to the hospital. i'm also trying to take a more active role in the birth in terms of making sure i do a lot of walking etc., and i guess the herbs are supposed to help too.


and btw, i asked the midwife to check me since i was feeling like things were happening... and i'm 1- 1 1/2 cms dilated... everything is REALLY soft down there but i still have a lot effacing to do... but we're on our way.
 

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My take is - there's no reason to be trying to help anything along at this point. For any reason. Even if it is "natural" (and yes, I do use herbal medicine in our home, so I'm not a skeptic).
If your baby is ready to be born, your labor will start without herbal "ripening agents", because your body is designed to do that when the time is right anyway.
Just another typical unnecessary midwife intervention
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I agree with not really doing anything at this point. Since things are already starting, even if you do have really long labours it isn't like you're at 40weeks already. You have time on your side to allow the long labour.
 

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I have to add that I am a firm believer that a hospital is no place for a VBAC (in most cases or regular births). The reasons you had a c/s in the first place are still there. Every woman is different and no protocol fits all. I take it that your MWs are CNMs, they are just as medically trained as doctors and b/c they work in hospitals are subject to the same rules and regs as doctors.

Staying at home as long as possible is a very wise decision, with a VBAC you need to be monitored during that labor to ensure that your uterus is okay (not rupturing). The fetal heart rate is indication. Do you have doula who can do this while you are at home evey 10 - 15 minutes or so? Will your mw attend you at home?

I'm biased, so please remember lots of woman have very good experiences with VBACs in hospitals. I personnally am just not one of those women.
 

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My understanding is that you can take that formula six weeks before birth. It is supposed to loosen your muscles and aid in an easy delivery. I don't know if I would start taking it before 38 weeks unless your baby is really big. I can't get it here or I would be taking it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
actually the first thing i did when i found out i was preggo was contact a homebirth midwife... unfortunately, because i live in the state of new jersey, midwives aren't legally allowed to attend VBACs at home (this is a recent thing). i definately didn't/don't have the money to pay for a lay-midwife (even if i did find one)... so i looked into VBAC statistics in the local hospital (hackettstown) and it turned out that it just happened to be VERY vbac friendly. they literally just changed their minds a month ago (apparently because of some new law in NJ that says that any doc with more than one malpractice suit loses their practice permanently). however... the midwives i'm seeing... although they deliver at HCH, they are not employed by the hospital. and they have an 80%+ vbac success rate and a 10% c-sec rate (which is just awesome in general, but amazing compared to the 30% rate that NJ has in general). they are all super supportive of homebirth, and definately not "medwives". my first son was born with a medwife and there is a HUGE OBVIOUS difference. plus they were able to bring waterbirth to HCH, which i was looking forward to... but it doesn't look like i will be going until the very last minute, IF i go at all. they actually encouraged me to stay home until the last minute (which i was going to do anyway). so... i am pretty confident in terms of feeling like i'm in good hands... they are not going to push for a section that i don't need or anything like that.

thanks for the advice... i will look into the vitamin C!


things seem to be moving along... my back aches and i think i lost my plug.
 

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I took it when I was 39 weeks pregnant. The midwives suggested it when I was about 36 weeks along, but it took us that long to find it, no place in town had it in stock. I was also a vbac, and was not "allowed" to go past 41 weeks. I also started taking epo at 35 weeks. The only problem I had with it was the nasty taste of the pills, the capsule started to melt as soon as I put it in my mouth, horrible, horrible taste.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LoveMyLittles
ok so i saw my midwife this morning and i asked about the herbs... she said that the dosage is not enough to INDUCE labor, and that all it will do is help ripen things down there a bit... the whole reason they (my midwives) suggested using herbs is because this is a VBAC and the hospital is putting pressure on me to do a repeat c birth as soon as i step foot in the hospital. because of this and the fact that my first two births involved really long labors, we're waiting until the very last minute to go to the hospital. i'm also trying to take a more active role in the birth in terms of making sure i do a lot of walking etc., and i guess the herbs are supposed to help too.


and btw, i asked the midwife to check me since i was feeling like things were happening... and i'm 1- 1 1/2 cms dilated... everything is REALLY soft down there but i still have a lot effacing to do... but we're on our way.

FWIW, I took those same pills at the end of my last pregnancy, and I really think that they might have made a difference. I had a quick labor, transition,and only pushed twice to get the babe out. Just my experience though
 
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