30 Wks and 30% Effaced, Anyone Taken Drugs to Stall Labor? Natural Methods?

Updated on September 12, 2010
Y.P. asks from Tempe, AZ
9 answers

So I went in for my 29 week ultrasound to check and see if my placenta previa had corrected itself and the good news was that it has moved totally out of the way, putting me in the clear for a vaginal birth.

The bad news was that I was that at 29w6d I was 30% effaced!!! The OB was very concerned about this given my age and history, so he asked me to go to hospital Thursday for a fetal fibronectin test. For those who don't know this test checks for the presence of a protein fFN, that comes out when you begin the "labor process". A negative test gives you a 99% chance of NOT delivering in the next 2 weeks and a positive test just means labor has begun but there's no indication to when it will go full throttle. I had a positive test :/ So that means that we should be expecting to continue to efface without intervention.

They gave me one shot of corticosteroids last night to help mature the baby's lungs and I'll go back to the OB today for does number 2. I was strapped to a contraction monitor for over an hour and I seemed to be having them fairly regularly but I can NOT feel them for the life of me!!! But she says I must be having enough regular contractions to become effaced so go figure!

Anyway today the OB will let me know what kind of game plan we should expect to follow and whether he's going to transfer me to a perinatologist. Also a guesstimate of our time line. The one reassuring thing that the nurses told me, that I've also read in many different places is that preemie girls fare better than preemie boys, something about their genetic makeup, not sure of the specifics, so I'm a little relieved to hear that.

So if there are any preemie moms out there I thought I'd ask:

1) Has anyone had experience becoming effaced this early? How long did it take to become fully effaced?

2) Was anyone given drugs to slow labor? I've of course googled and read terrible side effects for both me and baby for a lot of these drugs.

3) Are there any helpful natural methods like acupuncture or herbs that can help that are safe during pregnancy?

3) Has anyone had a baby at 30-32 weeks and how did they fare? What should we expect as far as treatment goes?

Thanks for any advice, thoughts, ideas!

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answers from San Francisco on

Trust your doctor's decisions. Don't scare yourself by googling and reading things.. Just yesterday, Dr. Dean Edell - the wonderful radio doctor - was saying that most medical information you find on the internet is erroneous. If you need to take a drug to stall your labor - do it.

Ask your doctor about natural methods, if you want to try them IN ADDITION to whatever your doctor recommends. The life of your baby is too important to trust to anecdotal advice on Mamapedia.

Good luck with your new baby.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I hope you can hold off for just a few more weeks. If you could get to week 34 that would be great...I had weekly injections of progesterone, ordered from a compound pharmacy, to soften uterus. Did bed rest, and kept terbutaline pills with me at all times, but only took as needed. I started effacing at 23 weeks so our initial goal was to get to thirty weeks. We made it, and then kept same interventions up. My daughter was born at 38 weeks, technically full term. She is healthy and I have no regrets about any medication my doctor gave me to keep her in. My doc also consulted with a high risk doctor. Every day in utero is like two or three in NICU. Good luck and Hugs! Also, my friend's daughter who was born at twenty seven weeks and is now quite healthy but with some developmental delays was my reference point for reassurance. I know every situation is different but knowing she was ok helped me.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I only have good thoughts for you that everything works out OK for you and your baby and that she stays put as long as she can.

I would not google another thing other than your OBGYN's phone number, it will only give you more to worry about, which you do not need. Ditto for any advice about herbs or methods that could interfere with your doctors care, this is no time to try anything other than what they say.

Put your feet up, relax, think positive thoughts about your baby staying put and follow your doctors directions.

I pray that it all turns out OK.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Lexington on

Ok. So I'm the very natural mama chiming in here. I'm so sorry for what you're going through. I know it must be very scary. I have had contractions and effaced early with all of my four kids, but my earliest birth was at 38 weeks. I do not personally know your OB, but in my experience some doctors cause excessive worry for nothing. I've had a hospital birth with an OB, a homebirth with a midwife, and two unassisted homebirths. I went into preterm labor with my last baby around 30 weeks. I put myself on partial bedrest (as much as possible with 3 older kids), stayed well hydrated, and used herbal remedies. I ended up making it 40 weeks 4 days (longest so far), and delivering a very healthy 9 lb 2.5 oz boy. If you were really progressing you should be able to feel your contractions. The uterus prepares for birth sometimes months in advance. I would NOT take any of the drugs given to slow labor due to the side effects, as you mentioned. I recommend drinking at least one gallon of water per day, resting and relaxing as much as possible, and seeking out a knowledgable midwife. If you do begin to feel contractions you can try the herbs I used if absolutely necessary. I really err on the side of caution taking anything during pregnancy, and would only use them to actually stop labor. I took 15 drops of False Unicorn extract with 5 drops of Lobelia extract in water. It's based on Dr John Christopher's anti-miscarriage formula, and worked exceptionally well. You can read about it here: http://www.herballegacy.com/Pregnancy.html I do not know about your beliefs, but I would also pray. Trust in God to take care of you and your baby. I wish you all the best!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I started having contractions at 24 weeks and was hospitalized in a hospital that specializes in premature births. Talk about scary. My perinatologist was great. I had a negative FFN at 24 weeks and was only dilated to 1 cm. They still don't know why I had preterm contractions. I was having them every minute.

The doctor prescribed bed rest and NIFEDIPINE. I am a big fan of holistic measures in addition to modern medicine for some things - but not so sure on something like this. If you do want to try something "natural", PLEASE be sure to discuss it with your doctor before you try it. Heck, discuss it with 10 doctors if you wish!

I am currently 28 weeks and am still having contractions about 1 per day. That is great progress! I am currently taking the Nifedipine (Procardia) to prohibit my body from having contractions. It is working so far! I did a lot of research on this drug and found no side effects to baby, only to mommy (makes heart race slightly, light-headedness, etc). My doc also reassured me the drug is COMPLETELY safe to take while preg. I don't like taking any meds while preg, but the baby needs to stay put a little while longer! We have to weigh the benefits against the negatives.

I know PLENTY of babies born at 30 weeks that do PERFECTLY. It would be different if you were only 24 weeks as I was. At 30 weeks, there is more than a 95% survival rate! The modern medicine we have today is amazing. I do trust your baby will be just fine. And your doc is right - girls fare better than boys. Great news for you! I also remember the perinatologist telling me that the steroid shot makes a HUGE difference in the baby's health when delivered early. So glad you are getting the shots!

The main thing you can do to help is to REST REST REST, relax, not stress, drink TONS of water, and EAT EAT EAT healthy foods. Trust me, I know how hard it is to relax, but you have to. Do deep breathing, take your mind to a different place.

Best wishes to you and your family. Feel free to message me privately if you want more advice or to discuss anything.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My water broke at 30 weeks 2 days and I was on bed rest in the hospital until my son was born at 32 weeks 4 days. I was allowed to get up and use the rest room and a short shower. They gave me one dose of Nifedipine the day I was admitted to slow down the contractions enough so that they had enough time to administer betamethasone for the baby's lungs development.

I started to have contractions at 32 weeks 4 days and delivered my son naturally. He was born 3 lb 5 oz and is now 5 months old and is doing great!
He did spend a month in the NICU but thankfully didn't have any complications. Neonatal medicine has advanced a lot and I did see 30, 31 and 32 weekers doing wonderfully in the NICU.

My advice: Drink plenty of water and get enough bed rest. I also had a severe reaction to amoxycillin when I was on bed rest. I sometimes think, I would have been able to hold on longer if my body was not under stress from that. Have faith. I know this is a scary time. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Wow i did not efface, but had contraction at 28 weeks and the same test when i went back in thinking I was having contractions. I was on modified bed rest, but had a negative test. Sadly my placenta previa did not resolve. I am glad at least that you will get to labor as you like.
Girls do far MUCH better then boys. As my white male ob told white boys are wimps. So that is good news at least. Everyday is a miracle and will make a difference in bot short term and long term outcomes. I know women who have had babies at 30 weeks. Short term has longer stays and all, but long term they are doing great. 32 weeks will be a bie milestone and after 34 weeks it is all gravy.
Do what your doc says, but if you are uneasy then look into more options. i would do acupuncture, but more for peace of mind. I think the state of your head for the next 4 weeks will play just as big a role as anything else. This is from a mom who knows by having been there

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boise on

My friend's water broke at 31 weeks, but they were able to keep her bedridden, and the baby inside (monitored of course) until 33 weeks when she went through natural labor. I would trust the doc's opinion of the lesser of the evils (early delivery, or drug affects).

This has got to be so scary for you. Positive thoughts are coming your way.



answers from Phoenix on

The same thing happened to me at 23 weeks. I was placed on complete bed rest which I didn't follow completely and ended up in preterm labor that same week. I was initially on magnesium sulfate while in the hospital for a week. Then I was on a terbutaline pump and complete bed rest at home until week 36 when the pump was turned off per doctor's order. I went into labor the same day. My son had a few rough spots with breathing, temp, regulation, etc but mostly ok. Now at age 7, I still see some frontal cortex immaturity and he has a diagnosis of ADHD. I believe he wasn't fully cooked but no way to know for sure. I wish I could've held off at least until 38 weeks. Do all that you can to have your baby as close to term as possible.

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