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Old 03-28-2011, 06:23 AM   #1
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Black Cohosh to encourage labor?

I'm wondering about this. I notice it is not often mentioned as a natural way to encourage labor, except by a handful of people. I'm considering trying it... maybe.

Does anyone have any resources to point me to about the safety of using black cohosh to try to encourage labor to start?

I did my own googling, but didn't find a ton of stuff on it, just that women have been using it for centuries for reproductive tract health, and that it can be used to try to help labor start/regulate. I wonder how safe it is. I assume (in a small dose) it won't be effective unlesss my body is ready.

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Old 03-28-2011, 06:50 AM   #2
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Re: Black Cohosh to encourage labor?

All I've ever heard about it is, like Pitocin, it can cause your contractions to be too intense and frequent for babe to handle, causing fetal distress. The side effects sound about the same as Castor Oil, otherwise.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:59 AM   #3
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Re: Black Cohosh to encourage labor?

Yes, it can be dangerous if not used correctly. I don't know the dosage but I'd suggest talking to your midwife for guidance. I believe you alternate black and blue.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:34 AM   #4
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Re: Black Cohosh to encourage labor?

I don't think I would do a tincture, as I feel like that is just too strong. I might try just one (500mg I think) pill and see what happens. I know it's not as strong in pill form, and I don't intend to alternate it w/blue cohosh or to try a tincture.

I'm still on the fence about it. Hoping someone has some more useful info. I plan to talk to my MW before I do anything... but I honestly don't rely on anyone besides myself to make decisions about my healthcare. So once I talk to her, I will likely already have my mind made up, unless she can point me to some other research I haven't considered yet.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:35 AM   #5
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Re: Black Cohosh to encourage labor?

It should only be done in the presence of someone who fully understands it, like a Midwife who has studied herbs. All people react differently, so pill form could still be too strong for your body. Many MWs don't even recommend it anymore, there are still a handful who still do though.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:15 AM   #6
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Re: Black Cohosh to encourage labor?

IME... It really won't start labor, but I think it did help improve and regulate my contractions during my last labor (i did the tincture, increasing the dosage until contractions were strong and regular). And yes, you use it along w/ blue cohosh, which I believe is a touch hard to get these days. I had to order it online as it was totally unavailable in any of our local herb/ health stores.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:58 AM   #7
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Re: Black Cohosh to encourage labor?

I used blue and black w/ my first HB for a few weeks prior to the birth. The two do work better together and should be used together. Tincture dosage is 5-10 drops of each twice a day in water. This info comes from Susun's Weed book Wise Women Herbal for the Childbearing Year. Blue cohash should not be taken if you have low bp.

Here is info on blue cohash.
http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/blueCohosh.html
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:00 PM   #8
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Re: Black Cohosh to encourage labor?

I used the homeopathic version of blue and black once I got to 40 weeks. I used it 3x a day, and by the 4th dose, I went into labor. Could have been coincidence, or the accupuncture, or it could have worked.
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:36 PM   #9
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Re: Black Cohosh to encourage labor?

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Originally Posted by meganne79 View Post
Yes, it can be dangerous if not used correctly. I don't know the dosage but I'd suggest talking to your midwife for guidance. I believe you alternate black and blue.
I have alao heard it can be dangerous if not taken properly but I do know that lots of MWs use it with Blue Cohosh with great results. I tried it with DS1 but wasn't sure how much to take and it didn't do anything. I never could find any sort of dosing info online. My MW said she has very specific dosing info and we will be trying it this time if necessary. She also says it works best in conjuction with other things like castor oil, nipple stimulation and accupuncture. She says the accupuncture works wonders and that she will send a mama to get it when she's ready to go into labor but just hasn't started and they will always have a baby within 24hr. I'm so getting some accupuncture this time. I always go over and need some sort of "induction" to get me going.
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Old 03-29-2011, 01:15 PM   #10
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Re: Black Cohosh to encourage labor?

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Originally Posted by JennTheMomma View Post
It should only be done in the presence of someone who fully understands it, like a Midwife who has studied herbs. All people react differently, so pill form could still be too strong for your body. Many MWs don't even recommend it anymore, there are still a handful who still do though.
Agreed.

It lowers maternal BP, raises FHT and increases the chance for PPH too.

Think of it like herbal pitocin, only should be used when necessary to induce before a medical induction.
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