The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA


Midwife's Study to Examine the Effectiveness of 'Folk' Labor Induction Remedy

Easy Steps to a Safer Pregnancy - View e-book or Download PDF - FREE!
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.

Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy

These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.

A six-month clinical study of the effects of evening-primrose oil, a "home remed[y]" purported to "ripen the cervix" and induce labor, will attempt to show whether the treatment actually works, the Hartford Courant reports. Kimberly Updegrove, a midwife and midwifery instructor at the Yale School of Nursing, will oversee the study. She said that she is conducting the trial because she is "tired" of patients approaching her about home remedies for inducing labor, such as evening-primrose oil and blue and black cohosh, because there have not been any trials of the treatments. Overdue pregnant women have tried everything from eating spicy foods to having sex to "soap-suds enemas" to induce labor, but health professionals do not know if any of these methods are effective or safe. Many women want to avoid being induced by drugs that bring on "fast" labor and require "continuous monitoring," midwife Miwako Ohta-Agresta said, but they "have to be pretty desperate" to try some of the "folklore" remedies. Statistically, fetal mortality rises after the 41st week of pregnancy, and by 42 weeks, there is an increased likelihood that drug-induced labor, forceps, vacuums or a cesarean section will be needed, according to Updegrove. Finding "natural methods" to aid labor would be "important" to avoid these procedures. Evening-primrose oil is purported to aid in labor by priming the cervix, making it "softer and thinner and theoretically more prepared for labor." Updegrove said, "Induction has a much higher rate of being successful if the cervix is already ripened." The goal of the study is to find "things that can be done in the home [to help induce labor] versus anything that requires hospitalization," she added. Updegrove will study 60 women in their 38th to 42nd week of pregnancy. Clinically testing all of the folklore remedies surrounding labor would take "many years," according to Dr. Ganson Purcell, chair and director of the OB/GYN department at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Conn. The fact that so many different remedies exist "suggests that no one has hit on the key that unlocks the mystery," he said (Hazell, Hartford Courant, 2/21).

This Web page is referenced from another page containing related information about Herbs


SEARCH gentlebirth.org

Main Index Page of the Midwife Archives

Main page of gentlebirth.org         Mirror site

Please e-mail feedback about errors of fact, spelling, grammar or semantics. Thank you.

Permission to link to this page is hereby granted.
About the Midwife Archives / Midwife Archives Disclaimer