OK...I'm reading about these 2 products to be taken the last 5-6 weeks of PG to aid w/ labor and delivery. They have different ingredients, and I'm wondering what experience you all have with them...Having had a C/S 8 1/2 years ago (and 2 VBACs since), I'm not so worried about uterine rupture, but that is certainly a factor.http://gentlebirth.org/archives/herbs.html#PN
Here's a little on 5W:http://www.babybirthandbeyond.com/product.sc?categoryId=161&productId=1179
Rationale for Prenatal Herbal TonicsPrenatal herbal formulations are designed to help ripen the cervix and tone the uterine muscle. Typically, they do this by causing an increase in toning contractions in late pregnancy. If humans lived now as we evolved, even very pregnant women would still be doing a lot of walking around, foraging for food or moving about by foot instead of by car. Those normal levels of adrenaline from daily activity caused toning contractions (archaically called Braxton-Hicks contractions), which helped move the baby into the optimal position for birth and toned the uterus for an easier labor and birth. Moving the baby's head down onto the cervix helped ripen the cervix so it would open more easily when the contractions of labor started. Having a ripened cervix helped the baby to come in a timely fashion, preparing the uterus to be ready to go into labor as soon as baby threw the switch. This meant that baby was more likely to have a nice, flexible head for easier molding and less likely to release meconium before birth.
Instead, we now see lots of women with long prodromal or early labors, which tell us that the uterus and cervix weren't ready to go into labor when baby was ready to come. Women can help prepare the uterus to be in synch with baby's timing either by doing lots and lots of walking (several hours per day would be optimal), or by taking herbs which also cause toning contractions.
The herbs in these prenatal formulations are tonic herbs, meaning they are mild, and you need to take them over an extended period of time in order for the benefits to accumulate. The capsule formulations are not a concentrated tincture or extract; they simply take the plants, chopped and dried, and put them into gelatin capsules. This is why you end up having to take so many capsules around your due date; they're not concentrated the way herbal tinctures are. You could view it as a way of getting more greens every day.
This herbal blend supplies nutrients supportive of the female glandular and reproductive systems. The formula contains natural minerals found in plants, which support vitality and healthy tissue growth. This combination includes: Black cohosh root, Squaw vine herb, Dong quai root, Butcher's broom root, Red raspberry leaves. http://www.reynoldsoffice.com/1120-5.htm
For the last 5 weeks of pregnancy. Easier childbirth, smoothes muscles of the uterus. Reduces spasms, less pain. Proprietary blend 900 mg*
Black Cohosh Root (Cimicifuga racemosa)
Squaw Vine Whole Plant (Mitchella repens)
Dong Quai Root (Angelica sinensis)
Butcher’s Broom Root (Ruscus aculeatus)
Red Raspberry Leaves (Rubus idaeus)
Other Ingredients: Gelatin and water.
Recommendations: During the last five weeks of pregnancy, take two capsules, three times daily, with meals. And Dr. Christopher's PN-6:http://www.babybirthandbeyond.com/product.sc?categoryId=161&productId=1180
Prenatal Formula contains: Squawvine Heb, Blessed Thistle Herb, Black Cohosh Root, Pennyroyal Herb, False Unicorn Root, Red Raspberry Leaf, and Lobelia Herb in an all vegetarian capsule.
Formerly call the Six Weeks Formula, the Prenatal Formula is an aid in giving elasticity to the pelvic and vaginal area and strengthening the reproductive organs for easier delivery. The formula should be used only in the last six weeks before the birth as follows: 1 capsule per day of the first week (wk 34 of pg) 2 capsules per day the second week (wk 35 of pg) 3 capsules per day for the third week (wk 36 of pg) 4 capsules per day the forth week (wk 37 of pg) 5 capsules per day the fifth week (wk 38 of pg) 6 capsules per day the sixth week (wk 39 of pg).
Some miscellaneous comments from the gentlebirth site:"I know some people don't like the PN-6; they say the pennyroyal makes you cramp. Nature's Sunshine has 5W which is the same thing without the pennyroyal; you can only get it through a distributor.""A friend took 5W and had a 45-minute labor compared with a 14-hour labor for her first.""I use a similar combo and what it does for me is "regulate" the braxton hicks contractions I have. Whereas without the herbs, I get random contractions of various intensity. Once I begin them, they seem to come together in waves of consistency. Who knows... could be a bottle of sugar and voo-doo However, they feel productive to me and after using them with two of three babies, I am happy with the results (which have been shorter labors and faster uterus involution postpartum).""I don't use PN-6 or 5W. I use a herbal tincture called PREPCOM. It is made by a company called Energique Herbal.
It contains: false unicorn, wild yam, bayberry, motherwort, wild ginger, lobelia, blessed thistle, squawvine, blue cohosh and red raspberry. My ladies take 10 drops in juice or water three times a day starting at 37 weeks.
BTW, when I use this for my multips, I am having fast labors........about 5 hours from first ctx to birth. Quite a few go from 5cm to complete in 30 min to 1 hour." "What's your protocol for the PN6 or EPO? PN6 is available at the local healthfood store. Start at 36 weeks, take 1 cap per day 1st wk, 2 per day 2nd wk, up to 6 per day in last week. I have them start EPO at 38 weeks. 2 caps QID orally, 2 caps vaginally, as high as you can get it, hs. This is what I recommend, and I've had few women go post dates and have prolonged labors since I started this protocol, 8 years ago." "For PN6 we use 1/day for week 34, bid for week 35, tid for week 36, etc till she's taking 6/day at term (usually three doses of 2 capsules). For EPO, we usually don't start until after 37 weeks at the earliest (usually later) and use tid of the 500 mg capsules (or 1/day of the 1300's). May also throw a couple in the vagina at night for good measure <VBG> if the cervix doesn't seem to be ripening. I'd love to hear what others use if it's different and how it seems to work. Many of our clients can't afford either, but those who take them don't seem to go much past their due dates. ""My "protocol" is similar - I'm pretty loose about the whole thing and only some clients use any of this stuff. They usually drink a "prep" tea after 36 weeks and start EPO orally at 37 weeks, adding intravaginal at HS when 38 weeks. How aggressive we get with this depends on past history, mom's motivation, etc." Herbal Information and Cautions
Cautions about PN-6: Susun Weed does warn of early contractions when taken 4-6 weeks before EDD. She mentions squaw vine tincture for uterine "weakness" rather than for normal, healthy pregnancies. Cohosh and Pennyroyal, also in PN6, lead to precipitous labour especially when taken together.