You are here

labor induction

My wife is 38 weeks pregnant and very miserable.  She is already dilated to 3cm, her feet are swelled so bad she can't walk anymore without it hurting, back aches, pelvis pain/cramps etc. etc.
Now I know many of these symptoms could be considered normal. Health wise the doctor has only 1 concern, she has gained a total of almost 45 lbs during the pregnancy and has told her NOT to gain any more weight.  He has said other than that she is healthy, as well as the baby.  If she hasn't gone into labor by her next appointment he wants to induce labor by whatever it is that they do to do that.  We would rather it be natural, or without the help of drugs or artificial rupture of the membranes.  QUESTION: has anyone used any of the above mentioned "old wives" tales with any results, or would you use one if it were you? Or, do you have a method not mentioned to bring on labor? 

My daughter was 3 weeks late. We had been doing all of those things for nearly 6 weeks. I just think they come when they come.

That being said, all those things are fun and won't hurt, so why not? I just don't think they do anything for labor induction. Women this late in pregnancy can go into labor at anytime, so any claims that these things work can easily be explained by coincidence.


Nothing to do with the poll, but I have almost zero confidence in this doctor.  He told us two weeks ago that she was at 40 weeks, then last week he said he miscalculated and said she's at 38 weeks. He won't listen to us when we tell him we know exactly when we conceived, he says "there's always a margin of error when trying to determine when a woman conceived so we use the standard date of last period method."  REALLY? So how's that working out for ya DOC!!!


I've never had a baby, so I can't speak to this personally, but it worked for both my sisters-in-law.  Apparently it only works if labor is close anyway, which sounds right if she is effacing.

Mix 2 oz of castor oil with a glass of orange juice and chug it.  From what I understand, it tastes horrible but the OJ masks it pretty well.  The castor oil causes cramps and diarrhea, which usually start uterine cramps as well.  With one of my sisters-in-law, by the time she was done cleaning herself out, it was time for her to go to the hospital.


Oh, I was 3 cm dilated at 39 weeks, and 4 cm dilated at 40-42 weeks. Then, 3 days before she was born I experienced contractions that dilated me to 5 cm (labor then stopped until the day she was born). So you can be 3 cm or more dilated for quite some time - doesn't necessarily mean labor is imminent.


My daughter was about a week late.  I walked for miles almost every day so I don't think that does it.  I think just relaxing and letting labor begin in its own good time is best, though I understand when people get impatient trying to just go with the flow. 

However, I think sex does work somewhat, especially if the woman has an orgasm.  I saw my midwife the morning before I went into labor and she didn't think I'd be giving birth any time soon...later that night my husband and I had sex and the next morning the fun with labor began:)  I do think Maia was ready to be born though and we weren't trying to induce labor.  So...who knows?  You could try all those things you listed but I would NOT recommend the castor oil thing - my midwife told me some pretty nasty stuff about that method.


I've never been pregnant, so I wouldn't know....
but I asked my mom and she said that a moderate amount of castor oil (not enough to cause the runs, but just enough to get things going down there) and a little walking did the trick for a couple of her friends. However, one of her friends did try this method and ended up getting the runs right before going in to labor. So, with the castor oil, be careful.
Although I know nothing about this subject, best of luck to you and your wife. Wish you the best and a quick/safe delivery! :)


I feel your wife's pain (and I hope she's gone into labor by now) since I have a 5yr old and am 31 weeks pregnant with my second.  I saw this thread and just wanted to make a comment for anyone else who may be wanting to induce labor before the baby decides itself.

I've never heard of the castor oil treatment before but it sounds potentially dangerous.  Anything that causes diarrhea or vomiting  will also cause dehydration, which is NOT something a laboring mom should put herself through for her health and the baby's as well.  Also, just about anything a pregnant woman ingests can affect the fetus and cause the same effects.

Going overdue totally sucks, but all babies do develop individually at slightly different rates, so a week or so longer maybe what s/he needs to come out fully healthy.  My son was 14 days late, it was in the heat and humidity of a New England summer and I was miserable.  I tried massaging pressure points to induce labor but that didn't work.  My midwife and other moms just told me as long as everything is going well, the baby will come when he is ready.  I was monitored closely and since there were no signs of fetal distress I let it be.  He was born after a looonnng labor very healthy and thriving.

Finally, the one natural option would have been to have my midwife strip the membranes around the "bag of waters" but luckily it didn't come to that.  I was also told sex could possibly work, not because of the movement but because semen can irritate the cervix in some women, especially if its dilated.


Best way is a pitocin drip, other than that, prostaglandins (think semen) and nipple stimulation


Thanks everyone for your advice.  Just as a quick update....we decide to let nature take it's own course and as of today we are still waiting on our little girl to arrive.  The doctor doesn't seem to be to worried about it, although he has put her on bed rest.

Log in or register to post comments