End of Pregnancy Birth Prep Formulas
Do I really need an end of pregnancy birth prep? NO. Really, it’s that simple. There is no special formula to safely make it easier…
Your daily nutritional and lifestyle choices are ALL that your body should need to prepare for a healthy spontaneous straightforward labor, birth, and postpartum. There are no products I would routinely recommend for birth prep and most of the options available I prefer to avoid altogether. I have a strong trust in our creation and our ability to be responsible for our daily choices to support what we were created to do… and I believe the desire for control is part of the common discomfort of, and complications in, childbirth that we are meant to surrender.
Aside from pregnancy tea or prenatal supplements, birth prep formulas are probably the most commonly desired product to add to a pregnancy, so I think having this discussion is prudent. There are times where a birth prep formula can provide some benefit, and times where further thought is needed.
Let us first ask, is there a complication to the timing of your labor and are you in good health? If there is a complication, or you are not in good health, encouraging labor to come on at home might not be the best option and maybe you would be better served in a hospital setting under medical supervision. If your body may just need a little extra support, an end of pregnancy labor prep might help to improve outcomes and prevent complications.
Let’s think about situations where a labor prep blend might be useful.
History of Post-Dates Pregnancy
37-42 weeks is a normal time frame for labor. Remember, we must first understand cycle length, and then correctly calculate an approximate birth season, and then we must surrender to the fact that this pregnancy and this baby may need their own special time. If, however, there is a history of verified post-dates pregnancy with less-than-ideal outcomes (such as gestational diabetes, shoulder dystocia…etc.) it might be helpful to use a blend that could support a timelier birth.
Births spaced less than 18 months apart
The closer pregnancies occur, the less time a mother’s body will have to heal between pregnancies and the more complications she is likely to experience such as uterine atony leading to postpartum hemorrhage. Supporting uterine tone with appropriately selected end-of-pregnancy blends (not just induction herbs) may be helpful.
Heightened Anxiety or Busy Workload
Oxytocin is the calm, safe, and restful hormone that stimulates contractions. Without adequate sleep, balanced stress, and a happy healthy home environment, oxytocin may not adequately rise to support spontaneous birth and an end-of-pregnancy nourishing herbal blend may help to support the body’s natural oxytocin levels and muscle response for spontaneous birth.
Most end-of-pregnancy labor prep blends use combinations of oxytocic herbs that are not only used to induce labor, but also may alter blood pressure and change circulation which can increase chances of postpartum hemorrhage, and other complications. Just because an end-of-pregnancy herbal blend is available or recommended by some midwives, doesn’t make it an ideal choice to use routinely. Using anything to trigger contractions isn’t the nourishing goal we’re after in pregnancy… right?
An end-of-pregnancy birth prep should be specific to each mother’s specific situation. All herbs don’t cover all situations, and each person interacts differently with herbs based on their constitution and specific symptoms. Likewise, planning in early pregnancy to routinely take an end-of-pregnancy blend is applying a cookie-cutter approach to a life experience that is unique to you and your baby. Get to know your baby through your pregnancy and see what your body actually needs before deciding if any end-of-pregnancy preparation is necessary. Remember, nourishing foods and lifestyle choices are all our bodies were created to need to support our births.
If you're looking for guidance on herbal birth preps for your specific situation, reach out for care at MOVbirth.com.