How Can I Ripen My Cervix?

Cynthia Flynn's picture
Experts: 

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
Hi, my baby is due on November 6th, however I had a show last week and have been having a few braxton-hicks contractions in the evenings. I saw my doctor yesterday and he told me that the baby's head is well engaged but is still in a posterior position. He also preformed an internal examination and found that my cervix is not ripe.

If nothing happens naturally between now and my next appointment in a week's time, he has said he will induce me if I'm happy to be induced. As I am very uncomfortable, even just walking around the house is painful with the baby so low, I will be more then happy to be induced.

But it would be great to go into labor naturally, so my question to you is, in what ways can I naturally ripen my cervix and help my labor along? I would really appreciate any advice you can give me.

Thanks,
Jenelle

ANSWER

The usual ways to ripen the cervix without prescription medication include intercourse (semen contains prostaglandins), female orgasm (which produces oxytocin), nipple stimulation (which produces oxytocin), and any activity that produces Braxton-Hicks contractions. There are also a variety of herbal preparations that are thought to help, but which should not be used without the knowledge and agreement of your provider.

-- Cynthia, CNM