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Old 06-22-2011, 03:47 PM   #1
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Are natural methods to induce labor...

any better than being induced with drugs?

I'm talking about things like membrane stripping, AROM, castor oil, sex, nipple stimulation, acupuncture, teas, etc. vs. Pitocin or Cervidil. I'm not sure which camp a Foley bulb would fall into, since frankly, I don't care to think about that if I don't have to.

Anyway, why are natural methods better? It seems like a lot of women have a holier-than-thou attitude about using natural methods to induce labor instead of drugs, but isn't that still encouraging the baby to come before s/he may be fully ready?

This is totally meant to be a debate, but a CIVIL one. Thanks.


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Old 06-22-2011, 05:09 PM   #2
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Re: Are natural methods to induce labor...

I personally think the reason for the induction is the more important thing to remember. If it is simply for the comfort or choice of the mom because she is just ready then well I think it isn't a great idea. If it is for the health of either, or because of some possible problem then whatever method is most effective should be done. I allowed the dr to induce me with DD1 because he was leaving the country to care for a sick mom and I didn't want to be delivered by his colleague from a different practice whom I had never met. However, I was 39 wks 3 days so it wasn't like it was early.

However, if you are 40+ weeks and looking for ways to encourage the baby to come without going to the hospital then I completely agree with the castor oil home remedies etc to encourage labor. After all, if the baby isn't really ready then it will not work.
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Old 06-22-2011, 05:18 PM   #3
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Re: Are natural methods to induce labor...

Well, I have been having prodromal labor for a couple of weeks now and I'm exhausted from it. It keeps me up at night and hurts for hours and hours. I have been bleeding for 4 days now and I lost my plug a couple of times. I plan to be induced Friday and I will be over 39 weeks at that point. I know a lot of mama's say they are tired of being pregnant and will only induce with "natural" methods. However, I'm not sure how putting things near your cervix and drinking/taking teas and pills is very much different? I guess the justification could be that your body is ready since it did happen "naturally" and the natural methods should only work if you are ready? I'm not sure. This is a good question!
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Old 06-22-2011, 05:25 PM   #4
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Re: Are natural methods to induce labor...

I am facing a medical induction this time at 39 weeks. In general I would love to not have to be induced but it is the best/safest option for us but we are going to do just about everything we can between 37 and 39 weeks to get me to go into labor on my own. My midwives think I have a better chance of baby coming out and reducing the risk of dystocia if I go earlier than 39 weeks, they also feel like my labor will progress more smoothly if I can get my body into labor on my own and the hospital will not allow an induction before 39 weeks in my situation. They suggested we just schedule a csection after 39 weeks which isn't something I want to do either.

In general, if I did not have any risk factors I would have no problem sitting around and being pregnant until 42 or 43 weeks. With my last I didn't try anything other than some EPO late in my pregnancy and then having my membranes swept at just over 41 weeks before I timed out of the birth centers limits and I was fine. I know I am not one to try things whether they or natural or not just because I am sick of being pregnant but when faced with the option of pitocin and cervadil or some natural things I can do on my own I am hoping that some of the things I can do on my own will work.
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Old 06-22-2011, 06:29 PM   #5
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Re: Are natural methods to induce labor...

Yes, i do think it's better! If you can avoid putting drugs and medications into your body, then it's far better for the natural process and the baby. Of course things like AROM etc can result in negative outcomes, but if it were me at 42 weeks and they were talking induction, I would certainly try AROM first before pit. Of course I would only do AROM if I was about 5cm dilated though... And I have had membranes stripped and it worked, I really don't think it's very high intervention at all.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:03 PM   #6
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Re: Are natural methods to induce labor...

I personally would much rather try drinking teas, taking herbs, *maybe* even drinking castor oil over being hooked up to a monitor and lying in bed during my entire labor while hooked to an IV on Pitocin. (like my last 2 births have gone)

I'm trying to let nature take its course, but when one is dealing with an induction-happy practice like the one I go to, sometimes nature might need a little "natural" push, lol. The hospital alternatives freak me out far more
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:43 AM   #7
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Re: Are natural methods to induce labor...

i think the natural methods vs Pitocin or Cervidi is only better because it's "safer" on the body and healthier... BUT then again how good is it to try to be induced in the first place?

so if i HAD to be induced i would try natural methods first

i don't think pitocin is evil or anything but i've heard so many horror storries about how it speeds up the labor 10X faster than it's supposed to be so the pain is 10x more intense and the baby gets stressed because everythings going to fast and not at a slow healthy pace like it normally should. - thats what i've heard i've never had pitocin! but it scares me enough to stay away! lol
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:18 AM   #8
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Re: Are natural methods to induce labor...

You have nothing to lose by trying membrane stripping. Forget all that other stuff. Women have all sorts of ideas about how to go into labor and listening to it will just make you nuts! I had someone tell me to sun-bathe naked. WHATEVER!
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:30 AM   #9
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Re: Are natural methods to induce labor...

In the end, the only thing that will MAKE baby come is a c/s. Baby will come when baby is ready. Pitocin/cervadil/etc. can hurry it along, but if baby isn't ready, it won't work, which is why there's that whole cascade of interventions issue leading to c/s.

Having said that, this past Friday we had pineapple for dinner, DD1 nursed for a half-hour, then DH and I did a bit of another natural induction technique... and DD was born just before 2am on Saturday morning after a four-hour labor. I like to think one of those things worked.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:40 AM   #10
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Re: Are natural methods to induce labor...

Natural is better than artificial. However, in my experience, neither will work until baby is ready. I've had plenty of clients who had failed artificial inductions, more than once, and then they went into labor on their own.
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