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Ways to soften the cervix naturally
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by worththewait78, Oct 08, 2011
Hello ladies!

Here's my story:  I am almost 36 weeks along and have a fairly severe case of preeclampsia.  My doctor is going to induce me at 37 weeks. (As it is safer for both the baby and me to have him out instead of in.)  HOWEVER he is a bit concerned that I have not dilated on my own and that, if we do an induction, since I have not dilated and my cervix is not "ripe" that the induction won't work right and I will end up needing a C-section.

I have been having regular, intense contractions for three days now.  My doctor said they are the real thing - not Braxton Hicks, but that they're not causing me to ripen or dilate, for some reason.  Also the baby's head is very low.  

I'm wondering if you know of natural ways to soften the cervix and cause dilation.  I don't need things that bring on contractions, as I am already having those.  I just need to get my cervix soft and ready!  I don't want to be induced if I'm not ready, only to end up needing a C-section.  

The ways that I have heard so far are sex, nipple stimulation, red raspberry tea and evening primrose oil tablets.  My husband and I have tried all of these.  I just started the raspberry tea and evening primrose oil last night.  

Do you have any other suggestions?  And know how long they take to normally get the cervix ripe?

Thank you so much in advance!!  I know it's not "normal" to be wanting/needing to ripen the cervix when you are only 36 weeks along.  But because of my preeclampsia and needing to be induced soon, it is better.

Thanks again!
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Member Comments (7)
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by Sixplus1, Oct 09, 2011

   I dont know of anything that will ripen your cervix. How have your blood pressure been. Wow, so your time is like right around the corner. !!!!!  Do you know what you are having? At least your will be full term, I believe after 37 weeks you are considered full term.

   I was having contractions as well and the stopped mine as I was 33 weeks along at the time. I am now 35 weeks, I will be 36 weeks Thursday. I am schedule for csection at 39 weeks, Nov 3, This will be my 4th csection. I pray I make it. I have a couple things I need to do..lol.

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by worththewait78, Oct 10, 2011
I was in labor and delivery again last night to be monitored and my blood pressure was pretty high (140's-150's/high 90's).  Just as they were getting ready to discharge me, though, I had a really big contraction and the baby's heart rate dropped.  So they told me they were going to keep me for another 2 hours to monitor me closely and if it happened again, they were going to induce me right then!  I was like, "Um ... I'm not ready for a baby TONIGHT!" :)  I had an hour and a half of steady contractions - lasting between 1 and 1 1/2 minutes and coming every 2 minutes apart.  I was laboring a lot in my back.  But she checked my cervix and I still hadn't dilated so they sent me home.

I'm scheduled to be induced on the 19th!! Which is only 9 days away - so crazy!!  I will be 37 weeks and 1 day, which my doctor said is considered technically full term at that point.  

I still really want to find some ways to ripen my cervix before then so I can hopefully dilate naturally.

Oh - and we are having a boy!

What about you?  You and I almost have the same due date - yours must be November 10th, am I right?

GOOD LUCK with your C-section and soon to be baby!!

Lots of love and hugs!
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by ChristineMP, Oct 10, 2011
There is a gel they can put on your cervix to cause it to ripen (I am a little worried that your doctor hasn't suggested it?!?). I had it with my son (who is 19 so the gel has been around a while). They admitted me to the hospital the night before my scheduled induction and applied the gel to my cervix, planning to allow the gel to do its things and then induce me with pitocin in the morning.

The gels are made of  prostaglandin.

There is also an oral medication misoprostol  that helps the cervix ripen and dilate (if you research this med, please keep in mind that it causes the cervix to dilate so is not to be used in pregnant women EXCEPT to induce labor so there are a lot of warnings out there that pregnant women shouldn't use it...they don't apply when you WANT to induce labor) that helps the cervix ripen and dilate

As I said, a prostaglandin gel was used when I was induced with my son. I actually went into labor during the night (sometimes the gel will trigger labor) and I delivered without the use of pitocin...an 8lb 4 oz baby in 41 minutes from the time my water broke until he was born :) It was an easy delivery and I would 100% insist on the gel or misoprostol if I were ever induced again.

Inducing with pitocin when the cervix isn't softening/ripening is NOT a good idea!!!! It makes for really long and painful labor or a emergency c-section :(

This is a link to an older article on cervical ripening for labor induction. I hope it helps http://www.aafp.org/afp/990800ap/477.html
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by Debtrap, Oct 11, 2011
Yes I had the gel too I think it's called cervidal, I was induced the day before my due date and boy it kicked in quick and i gave birth to my son three hours later....but I was 1cm and 60 percent effaced.... Have you tried walking, pineapple, spicy food and sex, the prostaglandins in the sperm act as a natural softening agent...good luck
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by worththewait78, Oct 12, 2011
Thanks you guys.  Christine - I'm surprised my doctor hasn't mentioned that either.  He's out of town this week, though, and my induction is scheduled for the middle of next week.  So maybe he is planning on talking about it with me then.

Debtrap - I haven't tried walking, as they have me on strict bed rest and they won't even allow me to be up at ALL except to go to the bathroom.  It skyrockets my blood pressure any time I get up.  I'm allergic to pineapple, so that one is out. :(  I need to try spicy food.  Although I don't need contractions since those are already coming quite regularly.  I just need my dang cervix to soften and dilate! :)  Last night we did try sex and I inserted an evening primrose oil tablet close to my cervix also.  I have a checkup today with another doctor so we'll see if it's worked and if I'm dilated at all.

I'll keep you posted! :)
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by stacey10, Oct 12, 2011
yes they use the supositories over here as well, they try the first over a period of 2 days I think it is before they use the oxytocin drip
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by worththewait78, Oct 12, 2011
So perhaps the "home remedies" we've been doing are working.  At my appointment today I was dilated to a 1 (I know it's only a 1, but it's progress from Sunday night!) and 90% effaced!  Perhaps I WILL be ready to go when my induction date rolls around!  Yay!