I am 31 weeks pregnant with my second child. With my first birth I hadnt gotten that educated on the benefits of natural labor. My first time around, I remember going to the midwife and she had checked that I was 1 Centimeter dialated, this was when I was around 38 weeks. The day I knew I was in labor came a week earlier than expected, and I only knew it was happening because my water broke. When I got to the hospital they checked my cervix and it was still only at 1 centimeter. I was there for about 20 some hours my cervix wasnt progressing, then they decided to induce me..and I only got to 3 cm before I was rushed in for an emergency c section. I HATED THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE. now I understand i wasnt progressing, which is why they decided to induce me..but I was trying to figure out some ways of "rippening my cervix" this time around?????. I have heard of membraine sweeps, drinking certain teas, eating pineapple..I was wondering which kind of things help your cervix prepare and what doesnt...I also want to do this all natural which im really scared of but I cant bare to think of all the drugs and going under anesthesia, and coming home feeling really crappy, and not even remembering most of it. so i also wanted to know which methods of natural ways to handle pain worked for other mothers out there??

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There are many ways of ripennig your cervix, but it sounds like you had a hard time dialating? Before you give birth I suggest you read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. There is a lot of great information in that book about everything in pregnancy and natural childbirth. She believes that when you are not progressing in labor it can have a lot to do with your mental state..if you are scared of pain, or have something else bothering you, uncomfortable with the people around you or your enviroment it can slow or stop the progress of labor. Its a wonderful book. I have just read it last month and I'm pregnant with my third baby. I wished I had read it with my first. Ways that helped me ripen my cervix were sex and sweeping of membranes. Semen has natural prostaglandins which soften or ripen your cervix. At the hospital they use artificial prostaglandins to ripen your cervix, but semen is a natural way (and more fun!) Sex induced my first labor (didn't work with my second)With my second At 40 weeks I had my MW sweep membranes in the office. THis takes the mucus our around your cervix and can help to efface your cervix more and soften it.( its a little painful) This worked like a charm and I went into labor the next day.
I do belive your mental state has a HUGE impact on your labor. I have to admit I'm a little nervous about my third baby. I'm planning a homebirth and have had one medicated hospital birth and one natural hospital birth. But I do know in my head that I am made for birth and I am going into it with confidence. My Advice to you would be if you can try to find a doula, they are wonderful support for a natural labor and in your case a VBAC . Read as much as you can and come up with a birth plan(especailly in a hospital setting) I guess as far as handling pain, it is going to be painful, but you almost have to surrender to it because it's more powerful than you. Just remember your goal..a baby and labor DOES end with a wonderful outcome. Good luck to you! I hope you have a birth experience you feel good about!
Thanks I wasnt even thinking about the mental part of it, I wasnt scared but I was really annoyed and frustrated that my partner was sitting around just watching TV!!! so maybe my own frustration slowed it down..and through my whole pregnancy i was stressed...so your right that might have alot to do with it. I'll be sure to read up on that book as well thanks
Evening primrose caps, two in vagina high up by the cervix, not until 36 weeks though. It will soften and ripen wonderfully!
thanks, I heard of this, the way i heard it was that they would rub the Evening primerose OIL on the outside of the vagina (which didnt really make sense) but this does..thanks i'll ask my midwife about it.
You can take Natures Way Primrose Oil from the time you are 36 weeks on as well.
Rachel is right about the book,finding a doula and the mental part as well.
Dilation is important BUT the softer/riper the cervix is the easier it is to dialate!
HAPPY birthing!
Your on the right path. We had lots of sex during our last few weeks. Talk to your midwife about this. Ask what will happen again if your water breaks and you haven't dilated yet. Many midwives will let you go natural as long as baby is doing well and no meconium. Do everything possible to be prepared so you don't have to repeat. Do you have a local ICAN? They support mom's attempting a vaginal birth after C-Section. They have lots of resources.

I would also suggest you practice some type of mind over matter practices. There is hypno-birthing and there is this CD called Beautiful Birth by Kate Street. She does this meditation with you that helps you prepare and get in touch with your body and you visualize everything happening the way you want. I listened to mine almost nightly in my third trimester and when I went into early labor in the middle of the night I popped in on and started labor getting centered and staying in a relaxed confident space. I had a really good birth experience and I credit a lot to that type of preparation that I did.

Good luck! You can do it!
Please also keep in mind every birth is different your water might not break until later in labor or not at all so stay at home as long as you can, walk a lot, have lots of Sex, Herbs can help but do your research some can cause still birth or miscarriages (I have purchased herbs for childbearing women from Amazon very helpful!). Also be aware of castor oil (castor oil is better than pit in my opinion) it will make you feel really sick for a while (throwing up and diarrhea) I am big on red raspberry leaf tea (helps tone the uterus) along with nettles (vitamins and minerals). Also, since your first baby didn't "pave the path" the pushing phase may take a while of course that not only depends on your mental thoughts ( say to yourself I am wide (huge or open) along with keeping your mouth open this will help you open up; Ina mays guide to child birth) but It also depends on your body. Now that you have done research your birth will go much smoother this time around. There are other ways to also ripen such as the balloon catheter that you can try later if nothing else is working before going to pit. Just as a smart thing to do always research anything you are going to try! So you know what “risks” are involved. (aka getting dehydrated from taking castor oil and etc.) I know YOU CAN DO IT so go for it!!
Oh one more thing if you haven't started already start now acupuncture it can take a few weeks ( a month or more) to actually help so find someone that does prenatal acupuncture for labor :-)
When I read your post, what comes to mind is not so much that you cervix needs help “ripening”. About 85% of women will go into spontaneous labor with a term prelabor rupture of membranes within 24 hrs. After 24hrs, the rate goes an additional 5% per day, so that by 72 hrs. 95% of women will have entered active labor.

There are two ways that prelabor rupture can be handled; either with active management, or expectant management, which is essentially watching and waiting for up to 72 hrs most commonly. You seem to have received a little of both.

My personal experience (no studies on this unfortunately) is that many times when this happens, the baby is often in a posterior presentation, and was trying to move into a better position and either a large frank break occurs with large gooshs that don’t stop, and there is no debate about a break, or that there is an initial sizeable gush of fluid and then it stops. If it is just one or two gushes, it is probably liquid mucous that is being pushed out by the baby, or a break of an axualiary bag- think of a little soap bubble clinging to a bigger one. It's suprising how often this happens, and when labor is well progressed and we finally do a sterile vaginal exam, I find a big bulgy bag of water. And I hear this from my OB back up that it happens quite a bit in hospital too. I'm not sure from your post which scenario it was, and if your unsure, you can get your records, and it should show in the operative report if your bag was intact. My experience working with women who have had your experience and a successful VBAC is that, yeah, this scenario can happen again with a very different outcome, and it’s OK!!!!

First I would suggest educating yourself on what the literature says about expectant management vs. active management, and figure out what your own comfort level is with waiting for a full 72 hrs. I've provided some links below on the topic. Then talk over your concerns with your care provider, and see how where their comfort level is. Do you have a provider that is willing to provide expectant management and has experience in working with VBACs with this particular history and situation?

This I would say is the most crucial element to give you the peace of mind that you won’t be pressured and you'll truly be supported in where you decide your comfort level is.

Second, I can not recommend enough getting chiropractic care from a chiropractor EXPERIENCED in working with pregnant women. Chiropractic care can vastly reduce the chances that your baby will be posterior at the onset of labor, and help get your hips aligned so that if your baby is posterior, your pelvis can open up to let that baby turn. Check out the Spinning Babies link below.

Third, making sure that you have an adequate protein intake of 90-120g. as well as taking a vitamin C supplement can strengthen the bag. The data on Vitamin C. is conflicting, and there haven’t been large studies on it either way, but my personal experience is that it does help.

And fourth, all the suggestions that the other posters have made about honoring your feelings about your previous birth, and coming to a place of peace and surrender with this birth (as well as education) are truly important.

Trust your body, trust your baby and know that working your way to a VBAC is hard and so very amazing and worth it. You can do it!





wow I didnt even know that you you could strengthen your bag..thats amazing..and my water definently broke. I am in hopes of looking for a chiropractor, although i was looking for one more on the fact that i figured my body would "feel better" and prepare it for the labor of delievery, I didnt know it could help the baby get into a better birthing position. I will definently look more into the things that you've said.
With my first, I ended up with an emergency c-section much like you, very sad. With my second, I got a doula, stayed home in my own shower with my husband, mother and doula at my side for as long as I felt comfortable. When I got to the hospital I was still at a 2. My water had broken, my labor stalled because I was in a bad mental place fearing another c-section and afraid I wasn't progressing, the pressure from the hospital began. Instead of loosing my focus and not enjoying the moment, my doula helped me as well as my family remember that this is a natural process that needed to run it's course. Most important, she advocated for me with the hospital staff, knowing that as long as I was calm, focused and doing well they would not push. As long as the baby and I were both fine, dialation didn't matter. My body would do what it needed to do. As I labored, they were very hands off, respecting my wishes thanks to my doula, and I went from a 5 to a 10 in a few contractions, began pushing, and within 10 minutes of pushing my beautiful baby was born into the world. My cervix was ready when it was ready, and when I was calm enough to enjoy it. Thank you to all of the doulas out there- finding one who was comfortable with VBACs, transitioning with me to whatever I chose, advocating for me, and reminding me to take the time to enjoy it, made it the most powerful day of my life.
Hi. I really feel Homeopathy helped me get ready for the birth. I had a problem with my first daughter when my waters broke on a Sunday afternoon 26 hours later i had only dilated to a 4 so they induced me with Pitocin (I had the group B strep so they only let you go so long). In total it took 36 hours for my little girl to arrive so with my second pregnancy i went to a homeopathic doctor who told me of a few remedies to take. I started taking them 2 weeks before my due date. With both pregnancy's i have contractions for weeks before the due date but they do not go anywhere so when i went to my doctors 3 days before my due date and was checked i was shocked to find out i was 5 cm dilated and %100 effaced. I was contracting but nothing terrible to i went home. On the Friday i had regular contractions, went into the hospital later that day my doctor checked me and i had progressed to a 7/8, he broke my water and 2 hrs and 45 minutes later i had my baby. It was completely different to my first baby and have to think it was the homeopathy, its worth a try. It was still very intense and fast however so if you find something natural to help with the pain id love to know:o)
I have the list here should you need it.



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