16 answers

Black Cohosh for Inducing Labor???

I am currently 37 1/2 weeks preggo. I am dilated to 1 and thinned out to 70% as of Friday. My baby has been head down since at least 33 weeks. I have dropped majorly in the past week. The dr also told me Friday that I would not make it to my due date, which I'm very excited about. I had a friend tell me to use black cohosh pills to help induce my labor since I've already started to dilate and thin. I have also been having contractions for a few days now but nothing regular. I was just wondering if any one else has ever used or know of anyone who has used black cohosh to help start labor and if it worked. I would not be trying to induce labor if I had not already had all the signs that I will be delivering soon, but I'm just curious as to how well the herb works to help speed up the process.

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I would not induce labor for any reason other than medical necessity. I would not use herbs or any other "natural" induction method unless I were overdue, and going to be transferred into a high-risk group (for medical induction in a hospital) if labor did not begin.

This month is National Prematurity Awareness Month, and the March of Dimes is very involved in this, and has a lot of information about it on their website here (http://www.marchofdimes.com/aboutus/49267_62082.asp); and specifically, stuff about late preterm and term fetal development here (http://www.marchofdimes.com/pnhec/240_48590.asp).

Among the considerations are brain development (at 35 weeks, the brain is 2/3 the weight of the brain at 39 weeks!), lung development, and from the MoD website:

Here’s why your baby needs 39 weeks:

* Important organs, like his brain, lungs and liver, get all the time they need to develop.
* He is less likely to have vision and hearing problems after birth.
* He has time to gain more weight in the womb. Babies born at a healthy weight have an easier time staying warm than babies born too small.
* He can suck and swallow and stay awake long enough to eat after he’s born. Babies born early sometimes can’t do these things.

Most first-time moms will give birth around 41 weeks 1 day. You sound like you might go a little earlier than that, but you still probably have 2-3 weeks to go -- babies tend to "drop" about 3 weeks before birth in first-time moms, but they may not drop before labor begins in subsequent pregnancies.

Induced labors (even "naturally" induced ones, if there can be such a thing!) are harder on you *and* your baby than natural labors. You have no good medical reason to try to induce labor, so just let your baby continue to grow inside you, and reach her full prenatal potential, for the easiest transition to life on the outside.

I know these last few weeks are hard to take -- you're wanting so badly to meet your little girl after all this time, and you wish you could push a fast-forward button on life! But you can't; and you may cause more harm than good if you did. And I can ***guarantee*** you, it is far easier to take care of your baby now than after she is born, so enjoy these last few weeks of her being inside you; enjoy the kicks -- they'll be gone soon enough; enjoy the rolling and rumbling of her inside you; enjoy how effortless it is to take care of her now (no crying, no gas, no diapers, no nursing) compared to after she is born.

2 moms found this helpful

H.,

I honestly would not induce labor using any type of herbs, medicine, or remedies from old wives tales. My advice to you is to walk as much as possible, have sex, stimulate your nipples and in between all of that - rest. Let nature take it's course. You've lasted the entire 9 months being pregnant and you will survive the next week or so. Honestly, I'll never understand why anyone would want to put their baby in danger just so they don't have to be pregnant anymore. That's exactly what you are doing by taking these types of remedies. And by the way, I was thinned and dialated 2 cm for over a month before my first baby was born. The doctors don't know anything. They can tell you what they think but they don't know when baby will definitely be her. Take the last few days you have before baby gets here and get yourself pampered. Get a massage, get your nails done, rest and sleep alot. Because it's going to be a long time before you get to pamper yourself again.

1 mom found this helpful

H.,
DO NOT use anything that isn't sanctioned by your care giver. Herbs can be very strong and VERY dangerous for pregnant women. Your body will have the baby when it's ready. Any thing that "speeds" up the process will only work when the process is ready to go. or it will work and do harm. Also avoid castor oil unless you want to have terrible cramping diarrea and painful, fruitless contractions.
I know its hard, but you have to be patient- it's worth it!

Remember, no one who has answered your question claims to be a medical specialist, so you can't trust any of us. Only your care giver.

1 mom found this helpful

I used evening primrose capsuls both swallowed and broken and squirted in 'the place.' Had my child two days later. Nothing is a sure bet, though!

I wouldn't use black cohosh as it imitates estrogen, not the body's normal signal to enduce labor.

Blessings on your soon to be family member!

I would not recommending inducing labor prior to your due date, with anything! Prematurity is the leading cause of infant death in America. 2-3 weeks early is just as dangerous as 2-3 weeks late!If you have,"all the signs that I will be delivering soon" why do you feel the need to be trying to induce labor at all? Patience is a virtue.

I know that you do not want to hear this, but your baby's lungs need all of the time that they can get to develop. Please try and be patient for her sake. Plus the probability of anything working to induce before your body is ready is highly unlikely. My 1st was 2 weeks late and second came right on the due date even though I was dilated and having pre-labor for almost 3 weeks. Most inductions lead to c-section which is not a fun recovery! Enjoy your excitement and use this time to rest because you are soooo going to need it! Good luck!

I heard black cohosh is a pretty strong herb and wouldn't try anything out that isn't recommended by a health practitioner, midwife, doula or anyone else who is experienced with it. Your baby will come, when it's ready. Just be patient :) Sorry, that isn't really an answer to your question. I heard that acupuncture can help to induce labor. There are some teas out ("Bottom of the ninth" or just Raspberry tea) that can help too but might be a little milder.

Oh, H., absolutely not! Black cohosh is an herbal medication used to calm the body during hot flashes and mood swings during PMS. This means it is very similiar to hormones. These are not the type of hormones you want to have activated. Other ideas include, no laughter, sex, showering with the water concentrated on your breasts to help stimulate the contractions, raspberries are an old wives tale but i tried it and it seemed to help. Otherwise, let him or her stay where they are, the longer the better developed everything will be. Nice strong lungs are important! Congratulations and I wish you the very best!

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