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Evening Primrose Oil To Induce Labor: Is It Safe To Take?

Evening Primrose Oil To Induce Labor
IMG SRC: PIXABAY.COM BY Rachel Claire

Evening Primrose Oil To Induce Labor: Is It Safe To Take?

Evening Primrose Oil To Induce Labor: Is It Safe To Take?; Did your date come and go but you still don’t have a baby? You may have started Googling DIY ways to get her into the world and found that evening primrose oil is one-way people try to induce labor. But what exactly is evening primrose oil? Does it really work? Are there any potential risks of using it during pregnancy?

Evening primrose oil is a popular natural option for inducing labor, and some women and practitioners swear by it. However, before trying it, it is important to know the facts. Here’s what you should know about this folk remedy, even if it is a safe at-home option for labor induction.

Read Also: Speed Up Labor: 5 natural remedies

What is the oil of Onagra?

Evening primrose oil is an oil derived from the seeds of the evening primrose plant. Often used as a health remedy, women have long taken it to relieve breast pain, PMS, and menopausal symptoms, as well as to induce labor.
The oil, which is considered a herbal supplement, is usually sold in capsules. The capsules can be taken orally, but some women insert them directly into their vaginas. Others drain the oil from the capsules and rub it directly onto your cervix during the last days or weeks of pregnancy.

Evening Primrose Oil To Induce Labor
Evening Primrose Oil To Induce Labor

Why do pregnant women take evening primrose oil supplements?(Evening Primrose Oil To Induce Labor)

Some midwives recommend evening primrose oil supplements to induce labor naturally. The oil is believed to help thin the cervix, which can encourage it to dilate and boost labor.

Is it safe to use evening primrose oil to induce labor?

No studies have been done to confirm whether evening primrose oil is safe to use during pregnancy. And in some women, it can increase the risk of serious complications.

If you are thinking of trying evening primrose oil, talk to your doctor or midwife first. He or she can help you weigh the pros and cons to determine if the supplement is a good option for you. Your doctor will also give you the green light when it is okay to try inducing labor at home.

Read Also: The Stages of Labor: The Early Stage

Does evening primrose oil help start labor?

Probably not, based on the latest findings. A randomized clinical trial published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that evening primrose oil had no effect on cervical ripening or acceleration of labor. In fact, some research has shown that taking evening primrose oil during pregnancy is linked to longer and slower labor.

So why do some women and providers swear by it?

It could be that women who take evening primrose oil and start having contractions soon after were very close to going into labor anyway. (After all, when she’s near or after her due date, your baby is sure to decide she’s ready to go out at some point.) That might make it look like the oil triggered the woman’s labor, but in reality, there’s no way to prove that for sure.

Evening Primrose Oil To Induce Labor
Evening Primrose Oil To Induce Labor
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Side effects and risks of evening primrose oil Like all herbal supplements, experts do not fully understand the risks that evening primrose oil could pose for pregnant women. But some potential drawbacks notes, including:

Slower labor with more interventions.

Taking evening primrose oil during pregnancy is linked to a longer active phase of labor, as well as an increased need to use Pitocin or vacuum extraction.

Postpartum bleeding problems.(Evening Primrose Oil To Induce Labor)

Evening primrose oil can have a blood-thinning effect, which could make it difficult for your blood to clot. That could increase the risk of postpartum hemorrhage, especially among women with pregnancy conditions like placenta previa.

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Newborn bleeding problems.

Newborns of mothers who take evening primrose oil in the week before giving birth are at increased risk of skin bleeding or bruising.

Stomach upset Some people find that taking evening primrose oil causes stomach pain, indigestion, nausea, or loose stools.

Benefits of evening primrose oil during pregnancy

There is not much research to support the benefits of taking evening primrose oil during pregnancy. But it is good for some possible positives:

“Tone” or “prepare” the uterus for labor.

As an anecdote, some claim that taking evening primrose oil during pregnancy can help strengthen the uterus for delivery. But there is no solid research to back this up.

Induce labor.(Evening Primrose Oil To Induce Labor)

Evening Primrose Oil To Induce Labor
Evening Primrose Oil To Induce Labor

Some women and providers also say that taking evening primrose oil can help trigger labor. But again, there is little evidence to support this.

Reduction of the symptoms of gestational diabetes.

A small study found that taking evening primrose oil plus vitamin D during pregnancy helped reduce the symptoms of gestational diabetes. But if you have gestational diabetes, you shouldn’t take the supplement without first getting your doctor’s approval.

When to call the doctor

If you are thinking of trying a DIY option to start your labor, be it evening primrose oil or another natural remedy, get approval from your doctor or midwife first. He or she can help you figure out which labor induction remedies are safe and when, if at all, it’s okay to start trying them.

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Evening primrose oil is a popular natural option for trying to start labor. But there isn’t much research to support its use, and it could have some potentially harmful side effects. If you are considering trying it, be sure to talk to your provider first.

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