Though pregnancy is a joyous and exciting time for a woman, it is also a phase of uncertainty and huge anticipation, especially when an expecting mother passes her due date. After completing those 40 weeks of pregnancy, most women can't wait for childbirth. Moreover, if they cross their due or maturity date with no signs of labor, most of them start wondering if they would actually be pregnant forever. Seriously, for some women, waiting for labor to begin can be harder than labor itself, especially if the expecting mother is experiencing lots of Braxton Hicks contractions. As a result, they become restless and start looking for various methods to induce labor. Though there are many medical invasive methods to induce labor, some women prefer to try out a few natural ones before resorting to more invasive practices. One such natural way is with the help of primrose oil.
Evening primrose oil is a massage oil which is rich in prostaglandins, and also contains gamma-linolenic acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid. It is believed to be quite useful in naturally preparing the body for labor, and usually possesses no side effects. Prostaglandin is a hormone produced naturally in higher amounts by the body in preparation for labor and delivery. It helps in softening and ripening the cervix, which further aids in engaging the baby's head deeper into the pelvis. Ripening of cervix helps in dilation, which causes contractions and subsequently, induces labor. Therefore, evening primrose oil has been used for centuries by many midwives to prepare pregnant women for delivery, as it is one of the natural ways to induce labor.
How to Use
- Evening primrose oil can be either taken orally or inserted vaginally. As the expecting mother completes her 34 weeks gestation, she can take two 500 mg capsules daily. Once she reaches 38 weeks gestation, the amount of capsules can be increased to 3-4 per day. However, in case she experiences nausea or diarrhea, it is strongly recommended to reduce the dosage, and consult a doctor.
- Another method is to use the oil during a perineal massage. Apply the oil directly to the cervix, and massage gently. The oil will be absorbed through the external skin, and can help in causing contractions.
- You may also consider the option of inserting the capsule in the vagina, which can be done during the last few weeks of pregnancy. Simply insert the capsule into the vagina before bed time so that the body dissolves the capsule during sleep. However, before doing so, do consult your healthcare provider, as insertion of any object in to the vagina or through the cervix, can result in a rupture or tear of certain membranes which need to be intact, hence, resulting in some serious infection. If you find difficulty inserting the capsule, ask your partner or midwife to do so.
- Besides primrose oil, people also use sage and castor oils for the same purpose.
Apart from using primrose oil to induce labor, one can also try having sex, eating spicy foods, going on regular walks, stimulating nipples, practicing acupuncture, etc. All these methods are quite useful. However, before choosing any of the aforementioned methods, do consult your doctor or midwife to avoid unexpected pregnancy complications. Also, remember that these induction methods should only be tried if you have surpassed your due date, or have successfully completed 38-40 weeks pregnancy period.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and not intended to replace the advice offered by an expert gynecologist. Before applying any of the above methods, consulting your doctor is a must.