Four steps to avoid being induced:
Evening Primrose Oil
- EPO contains prostaglandins which can help ripen the cervix. I took it for PMS before getting pregnant too. It’s good for hormonal balance in general. It can be taken orally or as a vaginal suppository. I opted to just stick with taking it orally. The suppository method can get, ahem… messy. Be careful though. Don’t start taking it until after 37 weeks as it can cause premature labor if taken earlier. I started with 1300mg at 37 weeks and doubled it at 39 weeks, taking one capsule in the morning and one in the evening. Although I opted to not have my cervix checked, because ouch, I dilated very quickly and had a very minor tear as compared to the severe tear I had with Little Dude.
I found this article to be very helpful. I love everything Mama Natural writes though. She’s always very informative. To summarize her post: “Researchers have found that date fruit has an oxytocin-like effect on the body, leading to increased sensitivity of the uterus. It also helps stimulate uterine contractions, and reduces postpartum hemorrhage the way oxytocin does.” Basically they make your uterus nice and soft. Benefits also include a good size list of natural vitamins. Plus they’re yummy! I ate the recommended six dates a day (yes six!) starting around the beginning of my third trimester. On days where I got a little sick of them I’d hide them in smoothies or grab a Lara Bar (the apple pie flavor is the bees knees).
I’m a big tea drinker to begin with. Neither Josh nor I drink coffee. I’ve always preferred tea so this was a simple step. I just switched my beloved green tea for a cup of RRL once a day starting at the beginning of my third trimester. Some people recommend starting to drink it at the second trimester, and some even earlier, but I just wasn’t brave enough. Red raspberry leaf has been shown to naturally strengthen the uterus making contractions more efficient (not something you want early in pregnancy). By toning those muscles, it can make labor faster. This was definitely the case with Flash’s birth. Six hours from first contraction to birth as compared to the 26 hours it took Little Dude to arrive. It also has a huge list of vitamins and minerals, helps bring about milk production faster, and balances postpartum hormones. Score!
When I went in for my non-stress test on my due date the doctor on staff tried as hard as she could to get me to induce. She told me there was no medical reason to stay pregnant and even used Evelyn’s stillbirth to try to talk me into it. In all fairness the hospital where I delivered is a trauma facility. They’re built to expect and handle the worst case scenario. However, when I asked her if there was a medical reason to induce, she couldn’t give me one. Flash was healthy and happy. I won’t lie and tell you it was easy to stick to my guns. Fear is easy to give in to, especially when your kids are involved. My mama gut stood firm though and I’m so grateful God granted me the birth experience I wanted.
I won’t say my labor was painless as a result of the steps I took to prepare. Not by a long shot. But it was easier and quicker than I could have ever hoped. If you’re hoping for the same, do your research, listen to your body, and trust your instincts.