This Little Miggy Stayed Home: Inducing Labor

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Inducing Labor

. . . otherwise known as get this baby out of my uterus. Today's the day . . . and nothing. I've been feeling contractions on and off for a couple weeks now, but no progress. I don't think it would be so bad if my midwife hadn't got our hopes up by telling us she would be surprised if I went full term. Well . . . SURPRISE!

Anyway, there are many an old wives tale about getting your labor started and we've tried about all of them. First, walking or climbing stairs. The other night B and I walked every single step from the ground floor to the 31st floor of our high rise apt. building. Nothing. It was a good workout though. Next spicy food and raspberry leaf tea. We headed to our local WholeFoods to get some tea and we decided to get their Indian take out as well and hope for it to be super spicy. It wasn't super spicy, but still pretty spicy. Once we got home I downed two cups of double strength raspberry leaf tea. I started feeling contractions a few hours later . . . but again no progress. We've tried a couple other things as well, but I'm thinking these attempts are all futile and perhaps only increasing my frustration level.

There is one last resort however and I've known a few women this has actually worked for. Castor oil. I was all for this at first, but after reading various accounts of women taking said oil I'm not so sure. Yes, many went into labor, but not before severe bouts of nausea and diarrhea. I know labor will be physically stressful anyway, but I'm not sure I want to force additional pain on myself. Granted, not all women experience this, and of course for some it doesn't even result in labor.

Anyway, I know all these little 'remedies' are totally hit or miss . . . and I know there's very little scientific proof schmoof, but still . . . it's worth a shot right? So any of you ladies out there have any other suggestions? Preferably these are suggestions you have direct experience with or know someone (again directly, not you're best friends sisters cousins so and so. . . ) who something actually worked for. ALSO please refrain from such sound advice as "the baby will come when the baby is ready" . . . cuz I could give you like a bajillion examples of how not true that is.


  1. Do not, repeat, DO NOT do the castor oil trick! The bottle I bought to induce labor is still sitting unopened in my kitchen pantry... after reading horror stories online I decided it was too risky to try. Keep up walking the stairs, the night before I went into labor I walked on my treadmill on a serious incline for 30 minutes and the other thing was black licorice. It's supposed to have a similar effect as the castor oil but no diarhea.

    My sister-in-law swears by papaya juice, but I had no luck finding that. I hope your little one makes an appearance soon!

  2. Okay, I admit, I am one of those who Amy is talking about who took castor oil. As both my husband and I are in the medical field (ok, I'm just a medical writer), we looked up abstracts on about the amount to take, risks, etc, because I was about ready to explode and I was in a lot of pain. Castor oil is not really a trick. It constricts the bowels and often the uterine muscles. Articles we found showed about a 50% efficacy rate. Anyway, I did have intensinal issues after about an hour because I accidently took 3 times too much (my husband said teaspoons but I heard tablespoons). So there was a little drama that night. The benefits were a very quick labor and no worries about unwanted emissions during birth, since I was clean through and through.
    So I'm not saying yes you should take it, just giving my experience. For me it just made the night before more difficult and the day of much easier. I would consider doing it again in the same circumstance.
    You're probably going into labor as I type this. Good luck!

  3. just wanted to "ditto" the "NO CASTOR OIL" response. I've heard some pretty terrible things about that approach. Sadly, I have no helpful solutions, but I hope it happens soon! Good luck!

  4. I was not anticipating an early delivery with Guille, but looking back on it, it's no wonder I went into labor.

    I had a few bucks in my flexible spending account that I needed to burn before the end of the year, so I went to see a chiropractor. They assured me that they were skilled in pre-natal/maternity. They gave me a massage, some adjusting, and then put electrodes on my lower back and shot little bits of muscle with 'stimulation.'


    ELECTRODES. In my lower back. Duh.

    I went into labor that very night.

    It could also have been the huge storm that came into town. I've heard it's an old wives tale, but the barometric pressure dropped.

    Walking, gettin' busy, anything where you might get your heart rate up. Julie Winterton swears by running on the treadmill.

  5. Anonymous6:12 PM

    Hi Amy, It's Broek's sister-in-law Kendra. Broek alerted me to your "situation" so I thought I might add my two cents. The night before I had my two daughters we had tacos for dinner. I also ate an entire fresh pineapple which is supposed to help. The walking is good and squatting a LOT should help (these two are also good to remember once your labor starts, they will increase contractions and could make a faster labor).
    I do have a suggestion that is 90% effective...IF YOU ARE CLOSE TO LABOR ANYWAY. It's kind of one of those things that if your body is ready and it is close to time, it could push you over the "edge" into labor, but if you're not, it won't do anything. It is an accupressure point. It is near your ankle. To find it, put your four fingers on your left hand (fingers pressed closely together)so that your pinky is just touching the top of your right ankle bone (on the inside of your leg). Measure across your knuckles (widest part of your fingers)and the point in the middle of the inside of your right leg next to your left index finger. This is the point you want to push on - it doesn't have to be really hard, just a little pressure. You can do it when you want and hold it as long as you'd like. Remember, the measurement depends on YOUR body, so it must be YOUR fingers that measure the distance. My sister is certified in prenatal massage and has used this a number of times on clients and has been there with the woman as she begins labor. I hope it works for you, if not, hang in there, the baby will come! Happy birthing!

  6. amy.
    just have bracken give you the biggest hug of your life. that should take care of everything

  7. Amy, Max was a week overdue and I tried EVERYTHING as well. I hiked 3 miles to a waterfall and back the day I was due, ate spicy food, the tea, homeopathic remedies, the whole nine yards.

    I went to my midwife and she "scraped the walls" sorry to get so graphic and then she told me to just relax. That night instead of walking up and down our block 20 times like I was doing before, I just relaxed. I watched a movie with my mom and husband and just didn't stress out about it.

    I went into labor that night.

    Honestly I think it's best to just not stress out about it and let your body take care of itself.

    The first night I relaxed it came. They say that stress is one of the biggest inhibitors of breast milk. Well, stress is the cause of a myriad of problems.

    Oh, I am so excited for you. Giving birth is a beautiful thing. One of the most spiritual of my life for sure. Enjoy (as much as you can) :)

    PS - I was told to eat something before I went into the hospital for energy. I threw up my energy about 10 minutes after being in the hospital. Not pretty.

  8. I like the hug idea.

  9. Thanks Ladiez---I appreciate all the support. I feel like I have some good direction. While pregnancy is such a universal thing, it's amazing to me how completely individual it is at the same time. Thanks again and I'll keep you posted.

  10. dude, its only been one day, and the first often hangs on a little longer. Also, you know those due dates are not 100% acurate. Alright enought soapbox from me, but I'm pretty sure most people swear buy S-E-X. Am I allowed to say that on here? I mean, you are married and the jig is up, right?

  11. Missa--I love you! You crack me up. . . yes the jig is up (or I wouldn't be in this mess in the first place right?). . . but I was trying to be subtle when I said we've tried "some other things." :)

  12. Gosh, I read this post this morning and have been thinking about this all afternoon. How to get a baby to come out...well, Sofia came 3 weeks early (induced) so I don't know what gets them going. I think I like Tiffanys advice about not stressing. Let your body do its thing. Relax, let your hubby rub your feet (I did hear that pressure points do work) and start practicing your breathing. Nature will do the rest. Its really not up to us...its up to the big guy upstairs who gave us these little precious gifts in the first place. Good luck! We are thinking of you! We can't wait to see pictures! Honestly, it shouldn't last long. Any day now...

  13. oooohhhh, sorry, duuuuuh. I can be so dense sometimes. I can't wait to see the little bugger!!! She will be the most funky, best dressed baby on the upper west side!

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