I strongly recommend Herb Lore's herbs, especially their Labor Tincture. I have seen it work many times when other things have not, and I can highly recommend it over and above anything else. I also live in the same community as Herb Lore, and I have been to their facility. They use only organic herbs and the best and highest quality. I have been impressed with Pam Caldwell's (Herb Lore's founder, company herbalist and creator of the Herb Lore line) knowledge of herbs and pregnancy and lactation, and have used their products to help with all sorts of problems that women in their childbearing years have. Most midwives know a bit about herbs, but Pam's knowledge is far greater, and because of that, has created a highly effective line of herbal products. I highly recommend using Herb Lore's products and their information as a valuable resource for anyone. I also think anyone who uses their herbs, especially the Labor Tincture, will not go back to any of the alternatives.
Alison Osborn, LM, CPM, Grass Valley, CA
I remember the last several weeks of my pregnancy. They seemed to take FOREVER! I was carrying a 9-1/2 pound baby and was SO incredibly uncomfortable! Any fear of labor was gone - I just wanted this baby OUT. As hard as it is to wait though, it is so worth it.
A common assumption is that babies are just putting on weight during the last month of the pregnancy and it really doesn't matter. However, there is much more going on that that. The baby's lungs are developing. At 35 weeks, the baby's brain is only 2/3 the size that it would be at 39-40 weeks. When babies are born early, there is a risk of breathing problems due to immature lung development, and babies have a difficult time maintaining their own body temperature. Babies may have to spend a period of time in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), causing the baby to be separated from the parents, which can impact bonding and certainly breastfeeding. Breastfeeding pre-term babies is critical, as their little digestive systems may not be able to handle anything more than breastmilk, but when mom cannot put baby to the breast or is trying to recover from major abdominal surgery (c-section), it can impact her ability to produce milk. Its a vicious cycle.... (There is help available for moms with milk production issues though. More at this link about that.)
More serious risks of babies being born early are cerebral palsy, vision and hearing loss, learning disabilities, and even death. All of this are good arguments against elective c-section or induction. This article gives further information and additional resources on this subject. I encourage you to watch the short, highly informational video it contains as well.
That said, there are certainly circumstances that require a baby to be induced early, or even an early c-section. When the baby or mom's health is in jeopardy, it is absolutely the best course of action to take. If time is of the essence and the baby must be born immediately, hospital induction or c-section may be necessary. But if at all possible, I would suggest using herbs to get labor started. They are effective, and much more gentle than the more aggressive measures.