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Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA


Summary of Natural Methods of Induction

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.

SUMMARY - There are 2 Cochrane reviews that both conclude further research is needed.

1) Smith CA, Crowther CA. Acupuncture for induction of labour (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 4, 2001. Oxford: Update Software concludes There is a need for a well designed randomised controlled trial to evaluate the role of acupuncture to induce labour.

2) Kelly AJ, Kavanagh J, Thomas J. Castor oil, bath and/or enema for cervical priming and induction of labour (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 4, 2001. Oxford: Update Software that concluded Further research is needed to attempt to quantify the efficacy of castor oil as an induction agent.

There are lots of suggestions on the ARM archive pages - www.radmid.demon.co.uk/alternative.htm and also see Archives of US midwives http:

Here is a summary of responses to what people were doing in practice.

1) Homeopathy, polarity therapy, Zero balance... and to have the woman see another experienced midwife (usually a traditional midwife) who will tell her (if she believes so) that everything is all right and that her baby will be born soon and without difficulties.... it works! (from Mexico).

2) Sex.

3) Castor Oil with orange juice,

4) Reflexology or acupuncture. Point in the roof of the mouth that stimulates the uterus.  The technique seems to work best if the client has at least reached 3cm. Carol recommended using "dum dum" (brand name, spherical) lollipops. They fit perfectly into that spot in the roof of the mouth!  One other bit of information- this should speed up contractions within 30 minutes... if it doesn't the body is probably not ready.

5) Thigh massage, Procedure:  Warm some lotion or oil in the palms, begin massage of the inner thighs working in an oval motion covering the area from the knees to the groin.  The laboring woman must tell the midwife when the contractions starts so massage can be stopped.  This will prevent overstimulation and contractions that are too strong.

6) Membrane sweeping safe but of limited use.  A review of all the literature on sweeping of the membranes at the end of pregnancy was published in May's British Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. The review found that overall the intervention is associated with a 24% increase in chance of delivering within 48 hours, a 46% increase in chance of delivering within a week and a 74% reduction in likelihood of going 2 weeks over dates. It is not associated with any increased risk of infection of the mother or baby, premature membrane rupture, forceps or caesarean section. It does make the vaginal examination more painful is associated with light vaginal bleeding and brings on irregular contractions not necessarily leading to the onset of labour. In summary, as a method of induction of labour, it is poor, but at the end of pregnancy, sweeping the membranes is a safe way of doubling chances of spontaneous labour over the next week.

This Web page is referenced from other pages containing related information about Non-Pharmaceutical Induction.


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