Cervical Circumstance

by Lo on July 9, 2010

My doctor’s comment that my cervix was “nice and soft” a week ago had me convinced that I was going to have a baby any day, so I was surprised yesterday when she wanted to discuss our plan in the event that I surpass my due date.

So even though I had a contraction like, every five minutes during the NST test yesterday, they were all painless and didn’t coincide with any significant cervical progress. I’m still nice and soft up there, but things remain closed and thick.

Anyway, my doctor explained that the hospital’s typical policy for cases of overdue women with gestational diabetes is to induce right away.

I don’t want to be induced. I mean, if my baby is suffering or if her size is compromising the chances of having a vaginal birth, of course I will take their advice, but I’d really, really, really like my body to induce itself.

So, I went back through my brain files of the mounds of random advice given to me over the past six months, and then I asked a few friends who have experienced labor if they knew of any ways to ripen the cervix and jump-start labor.

I remember one acquaintence telling me about the three HOTS. Eat HOT food, have HOT sex, and take a HOT bath if I’m overdue or if labor is stalled.

And here’s a friend’s text response:

“Ok. Sex. With jizz inside. Ew. Haha for real tho. Walk. More. Cod liver oil. I think raspberry leaf tea. Pump if you have your pump. Or otherwise stimulate nips. Spicy food.” And then, “I’m crying I’m so f’in excited. Omg, Lo.”

And finally, Ben suggested I just relax. He said stress likely inhibits labor.

I took everything in and then consulted Dr. Sears and the Internet. Apparently, semen contains prostaglandins, which does cause the cervix to prepare to open, but there is some debate whether one man could produce enough of the chemical to have any effect on cervical ripening. Orgasms also produce oxytocin, the hormone that causes contractions, so ultimately, having sex could theoretically “cure” pregnancy, but it’s no guarantee.  Martha Sears, Dr. Sears’s wife, co-author, and mother of six, also encourages simple cuddling and kissing. The hormones involved in feelings of intimacy can stimulate hormones that progress labor.

And then many websites and chats tout spicy food, certain herbs like basil and oregano, and various herbal teas. Some ladies swear eggplant made them go into labor.

The overall medical consensus, however, seems to be that none of these things actually work. Except Ben’s advice. Go figure.

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