Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Theory Of In-home Induction

Towards the end of your pregnancy, you may be getting antsy, anxious, and ready for it to be over.  When nearing the due date, most women are willing to do anything and everything to get the baby out.  There are a slew of theories on ways that you can induce naturally at home.  Before I start on telling you those theories and why they may not be right, I want it to be clear that I am a firm believer that the baby will come when he or she is ready and there is not too much you can do to speed up that process.  Believe me, I know.  These are some of the theories out there and why they may not be the best idea.  That is not to say that there are not a few things you can do to help the process.

Castor Oil: It is an old theory that ingesting castor oil will bring on labor.  There is no sufficient evidence that this works.  It will; however, bring on horrible diarrhea because it is a laxative.  This is dangerous because it could dehydrate you.  It has a very unpleasant taste and could bring on vomiting, nausea and abdominal cramping as well as diarrhea.  Castor oil’s main purpose is stimulation of the bowels.  I promise you, it will act as a laxative.  It is believed that castor oil will stimulate the intestines which may also stimulate the uterus and cause contractions that may or may not result in active labor.  It is very dangerous to try this without consulting a doctor or midwife who is in support and monitoring you.  Does it really work? Some women swear by it, some women do it and are incredibly sick and still no baby.

Cohosh: This is also believed to start labor.  There is insufficient evidence that prove it will bring on labor.  If your body is not ready, it will not work. Like castor oil, cohosh will cause diarrhea, abdominal cramping and increased blood pressure.  You must know that when cohosh is taken in the later stages of your pregnancy it can cause heart problems to your unborn baby.  It is very dangerous to use this, supervised or unsupervised.  Discuss with your doctor or midwife if it is something you think you want to use and listen to their stand point on it.

Spicy Foods:  There is absolutely no evidence that spicy food will bring on labor.  The same idea applies to spicy food that is with laxatives.  The stimulation of the intestines may carry over to the uterus.  It is unlikely, and will cause bigger issues for you.  If you do end up going into labor on your own, do you really want an upset stomach on top of it?

There are a few things that can help slightly, but not make you go into labor.  These things are meant to help soften the cervix.  Softening the cervix makes it easier for the cervix to ripen, thus, progress in labor.
Sex:  It is said that sex can help you go into labor.  The truth behind this is it can help the process but will not bring on labor.  The part that you aren’t usually told is, it isn’t that act of having sex that helps.  You must have unprotected sex and your partner must ejaculate semen into the vagina allowing it to hit the cervix.  Semen contains ‘prostaglandins’ which is used for soften the cervix.  The softer the cervix, the easier it is to ripen.  Some women feel funny about having sex while pregnant especially towards the end, because your twosome is a threesome, but have no fear, your baby won’t be scarred for life.  It is perfectly safe (unless your doctor specifies otherwise) and will help in ripening the cervix.

Nipple Stimulation:  A combination of sex and nipple stimulation will help your body is preparing to go into labor.  Nipple stimulation will release the hormone Oxytocin.  Oxytocin is used in hospital inductions and is the hormone necessary to bring on contractions.

Evening Primrose Oil:  Like semen, evening primrose oil is great for softening the cervix.  The oil will help your body release prostaglandins helping the cervix soften.

In my own experience, towards the very end I tried, literally, all of the above, and then some.  All unpleasant, and none helped.  I wish I had the knowledge then about what doing some of these things could do and the risks.  When you search on the internet, most of the time you find the positive over the negative.  I found that so many women said these things worked for them so I figured I was so done with being so sick, why not?  It was not smart to try and induce on my own.  After going through it and making the mistakes, I can tell you, let your body do what it needs to do on it’s own.  If for whatever reason you need to be induced in a hospital setting, as I did, you are in good hands.  They are using medication that is safe for you and your baby in monitored doses.  I know how hard it is to be patient, especially when you are so sick you can’t take it anymore.  Be patient, let your body do what it needs to do.  If there is some reason you can’t, let your doctor or midwife decide the next step.

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