Posting for a Friend

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tink9702's picture
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Posting for a Friend

So my friend is 40 weeks today and wants a VBAC. She only has until 41 weeks before they will push her to have a c-section.

Can you suggest anything to get labor started? So far I've heard of nipple stimulation & sex. I've heard of Evening Primrose Oil, what does that do? And Cohosh?

eliann's picture
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Hmm, I'm new at this but I've heard:

-Evening primrose oil, both orally and inside the vag. I think its supposed to soften your membranes.
-Red raspberry leaf (tea or supplement is supposed to tone your uterus and I think can help with getting contractions started
-Castor oil-but I hear thats a last resort because it gives you serious diarrhea
-Getting membranes stripped
-Sex
-Nipple Stimulation
-Walking
-Exercises that open your hips, lots of squatting
-Spicy Foods
-Pineapple
-I just read about Cohosh, not sure what that does, but I read it can have bad side effects

But...I hear sometimes certain things are not advisable for VBAC'ers, so I'd tell her to check with her doctor or midwife.

tink9702's picture
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Thanks Elizabeth!

In case others are reading I've just gotten a bunch of suggestions from FB friends about Chiropractic care & accupressure as well.

eliann's picture
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OHH yes! I'm seeing a chiro 3x a week now. It has done wonders for this SPD pain. She also does accupressure on me. Hurts, but I think it works.

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She can try a Foley bulb or Cook Cervical Ripening balloon. Neither use chemicals, and are an effective cervical dilator. It also doesn't have to lead to a cascade of interventions. My OB inserted the Cook at 42 weeks and sent me home. He said if it didn't come out after 12 hours to draw some of the saline out until it slipped easily out. Of course I went another 6 days before going into labor but I was 5 cm before active labor ever started!

I had a vba2c at 42+6. She does not have to consent to a c/s just because she hits 41 weeks. They can do Biophysical Profiles to check on baby. They are a little more in depth than NST. They check for muscle tone, fluid levels, movements, heart rate, and practice breathing. Most women don't know this is an option, but what's the point of antenatal testing of nobody ever uses it?

GL to your friend. Unfortunately, Sounds like she could've set herself up better with a different provider.

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The only things that I can vouch for working were with my 3rd baby, I had my membranes stripped then sex and nipple stimulation. The first two to help soften/open the cervix and the third to start contractions. The nipple stims release oxytocin, but you can't just do it for a few minutes. I had to do it for like an hour before I started feeling contractions. A few hours later, I went into labor. Not sure if it was cause and effect or coincidence. GL for your friend.

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ITA with everything Ariel said! Your friend really needs to be her own advocate and rather than just lie down for surgery that she & her baby don't need, she should encourage her provider to really *care* for them in these last days. I was planning a homebirth with a midwife so I didn't get too much stress about how long baby was taking, but I knew that I'd "risk out" of homebirth as an option if I went past 42 weeks so I did do some things to try to stimulate labor.

Lots of prostaglandins! I had lots of sex, and took something similar to EPO, I think it was Grapefruit Seed Extract that has more prostaglandins than EPO, whatever it was I took a 500 mg capsule orally three times a day & also inserted 1000 mg vaginally at night. Prostaglandins will not induce labor but help make sure the body is prepared for labor. To help induce labor, I did the homeopathic versions of Black Cohosh and Blue Cohosh (cimicifuga and caullophyllum) and finally took some castor oil. When labor started, I did nipple stimulation to help keep the contractions strong, but before labor my nipples were too tender to do it enough to try to use it as an induction tool. There's also an acupressure point on the little toe that can stimulate contractions so tell her to get her DH to give her a nice foot massage!

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I agree that pushing back on the 41 weeks thing is her BEST option.

That aside, alternating black and blue cohosh worked for me (both to initiate labor and to help me get over the hump when I was "stuck" at 6cm for hoooooooooooooooours.) However, I don't know if it's recommended for VBACs--I'd look into that specifically before recommending it in this case.

I also did all the other natural induction things aside from castor oil (because I would "risk out" of my birth center at 41 weeks) but nothing else did much but bring on nonproductive BH. I added the blue cohosh my very last day before risking out, and BAM. Labor.

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Leigh, did you take the blue cohosh in herbs or the homeopathics? The herbs aren't recommended for VBAC because you can't be sure of the potency and dosage. The homeopathics are generally considered safe because it's a known standardized dose and also because homeopathics don't force the body to do anything; they work by stimulating the body to create its own force, if that makes sense.

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I took herbs (in tincture form), I think. I wasn't a VBAC so it was fine, but I thought I remembered hearing something about it not being recommended for VBAC...good to know!