Birthrites: Healing After Caesarean.

Some suggested Alternative
(Non-Pharmaceutical) Induction/Augmentation Ideas:

Most people agree that induction of labour doesn't always work, but once labour has started, these methods do work well.

Things often tried:

  • Evening Primrose Oil capsules; 2-3 capsules high in the vagina, repeat 2-3x 24hr intervals

Evening Primrose Oil acts as a prostaglandin, which ripens or softens the cervix. It's also useful for softening scar tissue from abortions or IUD damage. This will soften/ripen the cervical tissues and increase the flexibility of the pelvic ligaments. This will help the baby to deeply engage in the pelvis. This early application of the baby's head will assist with dilation and should result in a relatively easy birth, even after multiple C-sections for "stalled" labor.

Evening Primrose Oil may be helpful for women with borderline pelvises as well. The utilization of Evening Primrose Oil seems to enhance the complex set of biochemical messages that initiate labor.

You can take evening primrose oil, orally, in the last four weeks of your pregnancy. You should take three evening primrose oil capsules daily for the first week (36th week of gestation) and then one to two capsules a day for the last three weeks of pregnancy.

  • Blue cohosh

(may cause irritability in uterus, non-labour contractions; better to use to enhance labour rather than induce. Try making your own tincture. Less "violent" than castor oil.)
Blue and Black Cohosh Tinctures, 5-10 drops each, in cup of water or tea, 1-2 times everyday, after 37 weeks.

  • Castor oil

(same as above, also ends constipation/induces runs, but can be very effective with stripping)
&endash; serve in orange juice, root beer float or other drink; 1-4 Tbsp in drink (in 2 doses)

The problem I've heard of with castor oil (besides making you miserable and not always working) is that it can cause the baby to pass meconium in the uterus because the castor oil causes a relaxation of sphincters.

*Gingerbeer shake &endash; Put 2 oz. Castor oil in 4oz. Of ginger beer, place your hand over top of the glass tightly, shake it up, and immediately chug it down (remember doing "slammers" in our young and foolish days in college???). If no labour within 4 hours, may repeat x1.

The Gingerbeer "fizz" suspends the oil, so when you chug it down you don't notice the "gloppy" taste of the oil.

  • Sex, nipple stimulation - with breast pump or manually

Don't get up straight after sex, lie there and relax, maybe raise hips to help bathe the cervix in semen.

  • Tincture of Motherwort - 5 to 10 drops
  • Enemas

Gentler than Castor Oil, but should have the same effect of stimulating the intestines, and therby the uterus. Also good for rehydration and considered less invasive than an IV drip, but as effective.

  • Membrane stripping

The attendant separates the bag of waters from the cervix by running her finger around the internal space between the cervix and the membranes. You do a "good one" if you're going to do one at all. Must be good indications and mom must have been given informed consent. Never do it preterm, with a feverish mom, or if any suspicion of low lying placenta or previa....

  • Cervical massage

2 o'clock spot on cervix, rub for as long as 30 min. slowly and gently

  • Caulophyllum 200

1 tab 1/4 hourly for 1 hour then 1 tab hourly for another 4 hours.

  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure Points

Pressure on the space between the thumb and forefinger, 4 finger widths above the inner ankle bone.

*If considering any of these labour stimulating remedies, begin early in the day after a good nights sleep and a light breakfast.

Please check with your care provider before initiating any of these remedies to be sure they are appropriate for you. I have found independent homebirth midwives to be very supportive of alternative therapies to augment labour, and they will inform you of the wiseness of inducing your labour with one of these techniques.

Reference (of which this is a summary):

Opinion regarding the induction of labour:
Jackie Mawson

I really strongly urge anyone who is thinking of being artificially induced/augmented, to achieve their VBAC, to not do this... and I know how desperately we want our VBAC's (I was willing to be induced/augmented myself if need be!!!) But, truly, the more I find out about it, the more the whole idea worries me.

If we wait until our body's are ready to labour, then our cervix will be softened and ready to dilate, and our baby should hopefully be in the correct position for a problem-free labour. If we rush this natural process, and initiate labour prematurely, then the artificial induction may cause strong uterine contractions against a cervix which is not ready to start dilating, increasing uterine pressure, which could lead to uterine rupture. Especially when the uterus already has a pior caesarean scar.

It has been suggested that our baby gets into the correct position just prior to the onset of natural labour. So what happens if we choose our labour date, instead of nature? If our baby is in the wrong position then we are going to have big problems birthing our baby vaginally.

The only serious ruptures "I" personally have heard of have occurred to women who have had an artificial induction, or had their labour artificially stimulated by Oxtocic drugs. So why would any Ob. suggest artificial induction/augmentation? Especially where a prior caesarean scar is present? The increased risks involved seem too dangerous.

I believe that any increased risk (more than previously thought) that is being found in studies, in relation to VBAC's, could be related to the increased number of VBAC women being induced or having their labours augmented artificially. Maybe the Ob's. are relaxing their restrictions on artificial induction/augmentation of VBAC women a bit prematurely, more studies need to be done to prove the safety and risk factors involved.

I was passed on this website address, and would like to pass it on to you. It supports the worries that I have in regard to induction for a VBAC. I encourage you to read the letters that follow the journal article. Phil Watters, Ob., of Australia and Ronnie Falcao, LM, of California both put in their opinion on this sad case.

Thankyou for taking the time to read the comments I've listed before making this very important decision in regard to your baby's birth.