If I hear one more person say evening primrose oil is going to help induce labor, I just may scream. I thought to myself, with the amount I hear it… maybe I should write something explaining the benefits and uses of evening primrose oil.
I used it myself in the weeks leading up to the VBAC attempt for my second son to help break up scarred tissue which was a suspected problem on my cervix, although it helped, it didn’t help make my VBAC successful.
The herb itself:
contains substantial amounts of polysaturated omega-6 fatty acids, essential fatty acids (EFAs) which are needed by the body to regulate a number of activities including insulin utilization, heart function, and mood.
And has also been used in treating PMS and women in the early stages of menopause.
But the main reason many women think that EPO is going to send them into labor is the fact that they are a good source of prostaglandins which help to ready your cervix for labor itself. While EPO can be used orally or inserted vaginally, providers do not suggest it be used until the 34 week mark to help any risk of premature cervical changes.
Also, during my VBAC journey, I learned there is conflicting information on oral ingestion of EPO in women with previous uterine surgery, such as a c-section. Some studies and providers believe that the EPO will weaken the uterine scar when taken orally. Which leads many to simply use it vaginally with previous cesarean deliveries.
While that is simply speculation on my part, I skipped the oral EPO myself.
But ladies… if you think that magical herb is going to trigger your labor, you are wrong! It may help prepare your body, but until that little bundle of joy is ready, nothing you do is going to help evict them!
photo: flickr.com/vinodvv aka vcube