May 2013 Moms

Evening primrose oil

Hey ladies,

I was told by my friend, who is also expecting, that evening primrose oil helps the cervix dilate. So me being in the third trimester and tired, I ran to te store and bought one. Then I read from a few credible sources online, that it MAY actually "complicate pregnancies" and their use is not recommended. So I haven't taken any. My question is...any of you ladies that have or are taking them...have you had any issues with them? Do they work? Dd your doctor approve of the usage of it? Thanks for your help!

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Re: Evening primrose oil

  • burkemsburkems
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 250 Answers 250 Love Its
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    My midwife recommended taking the EPO pill orally twice per day starting at 39 weeks to help "ripen" the cervix (which to me equates more to effacement). She said some providers recommend cutting the pill open and placing it vaginally, but that she does not recommend that as it can lead to water breaking prematurely.


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  • kmcd23kmcd23
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    I bought some since I'm trying to reduce my risk of induction, but then I read they can cause more bleeding during and after birth, and decided against it, since I already had an SCH. Also, they don't know how much of a blood thinning effect is transferred to the baby, which made me uneasy.

    Wasted my money!

    I might ask my doc about it, but they tend to not know much about alternative therapies, so I'm not expecting much from their answer.
  • I'm also taking it under the direction of my MW.  I would definitely ask before you start taking it. 

    It helps the cervix soften and ripen.  I take the capsules 2x a day and started at 37w 5 d.  At my appointment that day, I was 2 cm dilated, 60-70% effaced.  I don't have another internal until 40 weeks or when I'm in labor.  I have not noticed more frequent cramping or any bloody show or anything like that.

     

     

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  • image kmcd23:
    I bought some since I'm trying to reduce my risk of induction, but then I read they can cause more bleeding during and after birth, and decided against it, since I already had an SCH. Also, they don't know how much of a blood thinning effect is transferred to the baby, which made me uneasy.

    Wasted my money!

    I might ask my doc about it, but they tend to not know much about alternative therapies, so I'm not expecting much from their answer.


    Exactly! I asked my doctor and she looked at me like I had grown a horn or something. So I wasn't sure what to think...so I researched myself, but the reviews are mixed.

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  • My midwife and doula both suggest taking it (whatever dose is on the bottle) orally starting at 36 weeks to ripen the cervix - effacement, not dilation like PP mentioned.  
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  • Ceci131Ceci131
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    I've been taking EPO (per my MW rec) since 36 weeks. Started with 1000mg and worked up to 4500 mg today. I am creeping up on pre-eclampsia so we want to jumpstart this as much as possible to hopefully be ready to labor rather than go for a repeat c-section.I do notice some contractions for about 30 min after taking each dose (1500mg/dose for me). But then nothing after that.
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  • Been taking EPO since 36 weeks at rec. of MW. 1000mg orally before bed. I was told that EPO isn't really effective unless taken from 36 weeks on.  At 38 weeks I upped the dose to twice a day - 1000mg orally in the morning and before bed plus one 500mg cap vaginally before bed.

    At 39w 3d I was 1cm dilated, no effacement or thinning but my cervix is very soft.

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  • Not sure about that but I did drink red raspberry leaf tea (whole foods has it) both times and with ds1 I got to 5cm and didn't feel anything and this time I got  to 8cm and didn't know I was in labor!
  • image daniellelea1985:

    Been taking EPO since 36 weeks at rec. of MW. 1000mg orally before bed. I was told that EPO isn't really effective unless taken from 36 weeks on.  At 38 weeks I upped the dose to twice a day - 1000mg orally in the morning and before bed plus one 500mg cap vaginally before bed.

    At 39w 3d I was 1cm dilated, no effacement or thinning but my cervix is very soft.

    This is what my doula also suggested and to wear a pad. In her opinion EPO will work if your body is ready for it, if not than it doesn't do any harm. I have only had one internal back at 37 weeks before starting EPO so I'm unsure if it has made me progress at all.  

  • image Allure816:
    Not sure about that but I did drink red raspberry leaf tea (whole foods has it) both times and with ds1 I got to 5cm and didn't feel anything and this time I got  to 8cm and didn't know I was in labor!

    RRL doesn't do anything for dilation or effacement.  It just helps tone the uterus.  You got lucky w/ your body getting way ahead w/o you feeling anything! 

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  • Thanks for your responses ladies...I really appreciate it!!

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  • delinodelino
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    My OB had me start it at 37w because my cervix was locked up tight. We don't know yet if there has been any change in status.
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  • Your OB recommended it?? Wow that's a first! My doctor like at me like she had no idea what I was talking about! Good to know! Thanks

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  • My MW suggested I take it vaginally from 37 weeks on but I didn't get some until just the other day. I really think it has helped me because since I started taking it, I have dilated to two cm and am 90 effaced! Which may not seem like a big deal to some but its amazing to me. I also have timeable contractions now.

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  • I have been on EPO since 35 weeks, I am trying to prevent have medical
    Induction so I started EPO as a way of hopefully helping my body in a bit more natural approach. The Red raspberry leaf tea capsules I have been taking too since 34 weeks. So far no more complications have arose from it besides much more intense BH's.

    None of that stuff is really going to work unless your body is ready but in my case I am trying to stay away from a medical induction.
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  • My joint ob/midwife practice encouraged me to take it orally beginning at 37 weeks. I was 50 effauced and soft cervix at 37.4 and 4 cm dilated and in active labor at 38.4.
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  • I asked my OB about it and she said that the midwives at the practice swear by it.  She gave me a printout of the primrose oil schedule to follow, starting to take it at 36 weeks I think, and increasing the dose until the final week of pregnancy.  I've only been taking it once a day, though
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  • My MW recommended them to me 2000mg a day! Since I was 35wks at 35 I was 0 dil. And 50 effa. At 36 I was 1cm and 80 effa. and at 37 I was 2 cm and 80 effa. I strongly recommend them! all her other patients agree as well! She says now it's only a waiting game. Good luck!
  • wainbowwainbow
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments
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    My OB recommended evening primrose oil. All the doctors in this practice do. She gave me this recipe and told me to start today (36 weeks and 3 days). The labor nurses at the hospital also recommended it.

    - Take 1000 mg 3x daily orally

    - Insert 3000mg vaginally before bed, body heat will dissolve (wear a panty liner to sleep)

    I ordered the EPO from amazon.com.

    I should also mention that I'm in Westchester County, NY, and the hospital I'm planning to deliver at has the lowest C-section and episiotomy rate in the county. Coincidence? Maybe. But they seem to encourage best practices of midwifery AND Western medicine. I hope I'll get through this au naturel!

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