Natural Induction

Human full term is 41 weeks and 1 day (288 days).

File:Prenatal development table.svg

But at 42 weeks a midwife will want you to birth at a hospital. All that planning down the drain, whats a mom to do…

Start natural induction!!!

Start by relaxing, meditating and talking to baby. Tell baby out loud, that you are prepared, ready and not afraid. Take a warm bath. Optional, sip a little wine. It might help put you in a relaxed state of mind.

More stuff you can do at home:

The three yin crossing. Located in the area above your ankle. This area is adjacent to or next to the bone that is on the inside part of your leg.

-15 minutes of nipple stimulation by mom, partner or a breast pump.
-suck your thumb, there is a pressure point on the roof of your mouth
-there is another pressure point 2-3 inches above the inside ankle bone
-eat your favorite spicy foods
-have intercourse!!! Semen contains the hormone prostaglandin and the contractions from an orgasm could kick start uterus contractions
-lots of walking, climb stairs, and crawl along the floor

Out of the house:
acupuncture (try Yaw-Yau Lee)

While getting closer to 42 weeks try:
-caster oil, it causes an upset stomach, which causes diarrhea, causing abdominal cramps and usually uterus contractions.
-herbs like evening primrose oil (orally and internally), and red raspberry tea

For your last resort before medical induction try the following ONLY  UNDER YOUR CARE PROVIDERS INSTRUCTIONS
1- cohash, black and blue
2- striping the membranes (you can see it in an opened egg, that mucus holding the sac to the egg)


Braxton Hicks Contractions

Iris has been experiencing Braxton Hicks (B-H)  for since her 29 weeks midwife appt. The midwife told us Iris was having one when she was trying to determine Lily’s position.

Braxton Hicks Contractions were first defined by British gynecologist John Braxton Hicks in 1872. The biggest distinguisher between B-H and other contractions is they are not painful (but possibly uncomfortable like an average period). The second is B-H are infrequent, irregular and inconsistent. Third, Braxton Hicks have not effect on the cervix.

It is believed that Braxton Hicks contractions are preparation “exercises” for the uterus; building strength and practicing for true labor contractions.

Prelabor contractions will differ from B-H when they become more frequent and rhythmic. These Prelabor contractions are working to shorten (efface), soften (ripening) and widen (dilate) the cervix. What distinguishes real labor from prelabor is after a few moments, prelabor does not intensify and eventually stops.

How to time Contractions

There are two numbers to tally when timing contractions:

Duration– the length of a single contraction for start to finish

Frequency– the time from the start of one contraction to the start of the next

BUT, there’s an App for that:

The most recommended was FullTerm a free app by the folks at Apple. Second was Contraction Master which has apps for iProducts and Androids, cost is $2.

 If you are old school, get out a sheet of paper;  

  • Have columns titled “time contraction starts” and “time contraction ends”
  • Next to them have a column titled “duration of contraction”
  • Have a signal worked out with mom so you know when the contractions start and end
  • Have a column titled “time between contractions”
  • But don’t forget-contractions are timed from the start of one to the start of the next. A common timing mistake is to calculate from the end of one to the start of the next. For example, if the first contraction starts at 8:40 and the next contraction starts at 8:50 they are 10 minutes apart.

Types of Contractions:

  • Regular contractions are when the duration and frequency are stable over a period of time. An example is contractions lasting 60 seconds and coming five minutes apart for an hour.
  • Irregular contractions don’t have a stable pattern. An example is a series of three contractions lasting between 30 and 45 seconds and coming 10, seven and then 15 minutes apart.
  • Progressing contractions are lasting longer and getting closer together. Over the course of labor, contractions get longer, stronger and closer together.
  • Nonprogressing contractions. Contractions that are not getting longer, stronger and closer together. This means that the contractions are not opening the cervix. It usually means that other work is being done, such as turning your baby to a different position, softening or thinning the cervix.

For more baby related applications, has a list of the Top 9 Pregnancy Apps they recommend.

When to go to the Hospital

When deciding if it is time to go to the hospital, go over these few questions:

1- Are there any medical reasons I need to go to the hospital sooner rather than later?  YES if any of the following occurs; bleeding, anything protruding from the vagina, non-clear liquid when the water breaks, you got a positive result at your Strep B test, or any other reason given by your care provider.

2- What are your care provider’s recommendations for contacting them and going to the hospital when you are in labor and do you want to follow them.

3- Do you want to go to the hospital.

4- How far from the hospital are you, how is the current traffic.

5- Do you want to labor in the hospital for a while, or do you want to arrive as close to the moment of delivery as possible.

If everything is normal, the Bradley method suggests first time moms head for the hospital when:

1- Contractions are 2-3 minutes apart

2- contractions are at least 60 seconds long

3-Mom is very focused and is not smiling

Second (third…) time moms should head to the hospital when:

1- Contractions are 4 minutes apart

2- contractions are at least 60 seconds long

3-Mom is very focused and is not smiling

Because you will labor better at home, consider leaving the hospital if you get there and are less than 4 cm dilated and the baby is doing well.

Fit for Birth

Check out my new favorite website, Fit for Birth!

While perusing birth videos on YouTube, I saw a thumbnail for a water birth with dolphins. I had to check that out!!

Kim was so beautiful, I had to learn more!

James, Kaden, Kim and newborn Naiya

Kim and James met while she was participating in a fitness class James was teaching. They now run Fit for Birth, specializing in maternal fitness.

During the birth, one of the Midwifes uses a flash light on Kim’s back  to check for dialition. She mentions being able to guess how far dilated a mom is with out a vaginal exam. What she was looking for is a purple line that ‘grows’ up the natal cleft (butt crack) which can be an indicator of cervical dilatation.

The line begins at the anal margin at the start of labour and rises like a “mercury thermometer”. When it reaches the top, the woman is fully dilated. Authors of a study in The Lancet Journal propose that an “increase in intrapelvic pressure causes congestion in the … veins around the sacrum, which, in conjunction with the lack of subcutaneous tissue over the sacrum, results in this line of red purple discoloration”.

  • Tuffnell DJ, Bryce F, Johnson N, Lilford RJ: Simulation of cervical changes in labour: Reproducibility of expert assessment. The Lancet 1989, 334(8671):1089-1090.
  • Bryne DL, Edmonds DK: Clinical method for evaluating progress in first stage of labour. The Lancet 1990, 335:122.

Fully dilated woman and her purple line. Via Babies and Bellies, click photo for link


In 2010 article by BioMed Central they found that 76% of women displayed a purple or red line during labor and it’s length correspond with estimated dilation via vaginal exam 36% of the time. The study also reported an overall accuracy for determining the exact cervical diameter dilation of 50% (which improved to 90% when an error of ± 1 cm was allowed).



An excellent natural way to boost energy levels!! Electrolyte balance combined with natural energy (honey), natural fluids (lemon and water) and calcium and magnesium; are all essential in effective muscle contraction!

Heat in a saucepan:

  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of honey


Pour in to a blender and add:

  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 5 lemons)
  • 3 calcium/magnesium tablets, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Mix well and freeze!!



  • Pedialite
  • Coconut Water

Herbs for Labor Prep

These products should only to be used after the approval and under the supervision of a professional health care provider.

Follow manufacturer instructions.

Your body has everything it needs to birth your baby, but some women find it helpful to add a herbal labor prep regimen to their routine in the last weeks of pregnancy. Herbal labor prep regimens use time tested herbal combinations that help “prime the pump” to get your body in optimal condition for labor, birth, and postpartum. Midwives have used these preparations to help ease labor and delivery by increasing the effectiveness of contractions, producing larger cervical dilation before discomfort begins. Also, herbal labor preparations may help to minimize postpartum bleeding. NOVA Natural Birth Center recommends using one of these four herbal labor preparation regimens as an optional supplement to add starting at 34 weeks.



Get it at:

Herbs First

How do you take it:

34 weeks-take one capsule daily

35 weeks- take two capsules daily

36 weeks- take two capsules 3 times daily until birth

How much does it cost:

$22.99 for 100 capsules, you’ll need 2 bottles for the scheduled 6 weeks for $32.20. A third bottle will be needed for a pregnancy longer than 39 weeks and postnatal use.





Get it at:

Birth Junkie

How do you take it:

34 weeks-take two capsules twice daily

35 weeks- take two capsules daily 3 times daily

36 weeks- take three or four capsules 3 times daily until birth

How much does it cost:

$36 for 400 capsules, which will last till half way through the 39th week.






Get it at:

Naturally Herbs

How do you take it:

two capsules 3 times daily until birth

How much does it cost:

$18.25 for 100 capsules, You ‘ll need 3 bottles for 40 weeks of pregnancy for $54.75. A fourth bottle will be needed for postnatal use.





Get it at:

Available at most health food stores, like Whole Foods, and online.

How do you take it:

Orally, take 1300-1500mg per day.

Vaginally, insert 1500-2000mg each evening at bedtime.

How much does it cost:

At Purtians 500mg are $11.00 for 100 softgels, You ‘ll need 2 bottles for 40 weeks of pregnancy for $22.00. A third bottle will be needed for postnatal use.

Natural Alignment Plateau

The N.A.P. is a normal period of time in many labors when dilation of the cervix is not increasing but uterine activity continues.

The Natural Alignment Plateau is one example of what many women commonly do.  A woman will be in labor and seems to be “progressing” just fine, and then “stall” out around a 5 (average, a 5- can be any number though) and stay a 5 for hours. This is OFTEN when a doctor or nursing staff will tell the mother that she is experiencing “failure to progress” and want to start her on Pitocin, or they may not even state that its Pitocin that they want to put her one, but instead just tell the mother that they are going to give her “a little something to speed things up”.  Once Pitocin is introduced a whole spectrum of things can go wrong.  The most common progression of labor when a woman is experiencing the N.A.P. is she will seemingly stall out at a specific number for a period of time, an hour, many hours- it varies.  However, what usually happens with the N.A.P. is a rapid dilation at the end.  An average of 20 minutes from whatever number you were “stalled” at to completely dilated, is what often occurs in women who are experiencing the Natural Alignment Plateau.

“Failure to progress” in labor is a common reason for unplanned C-sections. Sometimes, though, it might simply be failure to wait.

There are many ways to evaluate the progress of labor, which include: dilation, effacement, station, strength of contractions, time between contractions, duration of contraction, behavior changes, loss of modesty, emotional signs, etc. None of these methods of evaluation are completely reliable on their own, but if they are used together, the coach can get some idea of where they are in labor.


Medical personnel deal mostly with dilation, effacement, and station. They also deal mostly with medicated mothers. They are used to managing labors rather than allowing them to follow their natural course. They like to see a regular pattern of progress in regards to dilation. But it is not uncommon for a mother to reach a point where labor continues, but dilation of the cervix stops for a time.


During this time there are many things that may be happening that are necessary for the birth process to take place. Some of these things include:

1.       Physical alignment of the baby’s presenting part in relation to the mother’s pelvis. This is something we cannot determine; the baby must find the best way through this narrow passage.

2.       Softening of the cartilage in the pelvis and increasing flexibility of the ligaments and tendons as the mother’s body prepares to accommodate the baby.

3.       Time for breasts to form all the immunities necessary to protect the baby after birth.  Secretion from the breasts prior to the onset of labor are very low in these immunities, yet they are full of them by the time the baby is born- this may require some extra time.

4.       The baby may be in need of more contractions which massage the baby, stimulate its nervous and prepare it’s lungs for breathing on the outside.

5.       Psychological changes in the mother:  Adjust to taking on responsibility of another life; anxiety at baby’s first step toward independence; environment where they feel safe and secure.

6.       Psychological changes in baby. (Evidence tends to support that the baby may be going through psychological and emotional changes during this time.)


Something that ALL women walking in the door for their births need to know, is that the ‘numbers of progression’ are simply a guessing game and are not a predication.  Your body knows best when it comes to laboring.  Understanding that our bodies do what they do for a reason, and interfering with our body due to misguided education, or understanding, can actually take what was meant to be an amazing and life giving experience and turn it into a spiral of intervention that leaves you feeling disappointed.



Oly Pen

Natural Childbirth Education