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