Natural Supplements for Labor Induction

It’s natural, so it’s fine right?

Sometimes women ask us about taking natural supplements to try to induce their labor. Sometimes they find this information on the internet.  Sometimes their midwife recommends a supplement.

Wait a minute.  Let’s think about this.

There are risks and benefits to every intervention.  And yes, even though taking a supplement isn’t medical, it’s still an intervention.

If you haven’t gone into labor on your own, chances are that either your body or your baby (or both!) isn’t ready to go through the experience of labor.  Inducing your labor using a supplement such as Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) or Blue Cohash is still an induction, just like going to the hospital and getting Cervidil or Pitocin.  These supplements have risks.

You should research everything you consider taking during pregnancy.  For instance, did you know that Evening Primrose Oil is associated with PROM, meaning your water breaking without any contractions?  And if your water is broken for longer than 12-18 hours, most practices will want to induce you medically or even go straight to a c-section (this is one of those questions you should ask your care provider well before labor; how long will you wait after my water breaks before you want to perform interventions)?

Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean its without risk.

Some good sites for research are Cochrane.org and EvidenceBasedBirth.com.

At Baby Steps, we believe that parents are capable of making the best decisions for their own family.  We support any birth choice you make; we just want to make sure you have enough facts to make an informed choice.  Our classes contain evidence based information on the risks and benefits of many birth interventions.