Author Topic: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6 vs. Gentle Birth, etc.  (Read 79432 times)

YoopreMama

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Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6 vs. Gentle Birth, etc.
« on: February 03, 2008, 10:34:09 AM »
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
Quote
Rationale for Prenatal Herbal Tonics
Prenatal 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.


Here's a little on 5W:
http://www.babybirthandbeyond.com/product.sc?categoryId=161&productId=1179

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.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 11:16:11 AM by Yooper »

Offline Mrs. Davis

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2008, 11:01:11 AM »
I took 5W during the last 5 weeks of my last two pregnancies and thought it was wonderful!  My labors were very straight forward compared to some others I have had.  Also, I didn't have those nasty after pains like I had with the prior births and I wonder if it was due to that.

YoopreMama

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2008, 11:15:23 AM »
Glad to hear that, Mrs. Davis...especially the part about the afterpains.  :)

Do you happen to have a C-S in your birth history?

Offline lewisquiverfull

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2008, 02:42:59 PM »
I took the 5-W with my last pregnancy and it helped alot. I actually thought my labor was stalling/not progressing because I wasn't hurting much. But labor lasted about 1 hour. Very little pain. No after pain. Too bad it didn't help sore ni**les when I started breastfeeding!!  :D

Offline Jemima

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2008, 02:59:24 AM »
Anyone have any more experiences to share on this?  :)

Offline Mrs. Davis

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2008, 03:48:15 AM »
Glad to hear that, Mrs. Davis...especially the part about the afterpains.  :)

Do you happen to have a C-S in your birth history?

Yes.  With my twins I had a c-section, they were number 4 and 5 in our family.  I have had all VBACs since them.

YoopreMama

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2008, 04:00:29 AM »
Good for you, Mrs. Davis!  :)

I asked my midwife yesterday about these supplements--she recommends neither.  She hasn't seen good results, but rather several cases of "false" alarms.  I'm sure she wouldn't want false alarms from me, being 2.5 hours away.   :o

She also thought that w/ my history of PROM, that taking these supplements could exascerbate that problem...the contractions that they'd produce making things happen before I was "ready".

She did encourage RRL tea, though...

I'm still undecided. 

Offline marksgirl

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2008, 09:25:54 AM »
I took PN6 back in '93 with my second, and I think it helped a lot.  First labor was 8-9 hours, with 1 1/2 hr of that pushing.  :P  Second time around with the herbs, I didn't even realize I was in labor!  I knew I was having a LOT of BH, but they weren't painful.  I went in to MW appt. day before due date, and she said I was already dilated to 8!  :o She did break my water, and my ds was born just over an hour later with only 3 pushes.  Unfortunately, I could never find the PN6 with later pregnancies.  :( Now it appears that it's made by a different company, so I will have to look into that later on.

Offline Mrs. Davis

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2008, 09:38:46 AM »
See, I had less false labor when I took the 5W. 

Offline Mrs.Visser

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2008, 10:25:06 PM »
This is really interesting. My midwive just suggested 5W and a labor enhancer formula (for during labor). I got them this week...I'm gonna try it and we'll see how it goes!

Offline berthday

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2008, 01:09:03 AM »
Has anyone tried Moutain Meadow Herbs formula called Gentle Birth? I just got some (won't need it for a little while) and wondered what your results were. The ingrediants are as follows-blessed thistle,blue cohosh,false unicorn,red raspberry,squawvine,bayberry,ginger,scullcap,motherwort,& wild yam.
What do you think? Should I try it or get the 5W.

Offline streamsofquietness

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2008, 07:39:04 AM »
Has anyone tried Moutain Meadow Herbs formula called Gentle Birth? I just got some (won't need it for a little while) and wondered what your results were. The ingrediants are as follows-blessed thistle,blue cohosh,false unicorn,red raspberry,squawvine,bayberry,ginger,scullcap,motherwort,& wild yam.
What do you think? Should I try it or get the 5W.

I used Gentle Birth with my last (4th) pregnancy, along with Evening Primrose Oil. I had a wonderful, fast labor and delivery at home. Our baby was born 2 hrs. after I started with my first contractions! Contractions were pretty intense up until pushing (had back labor). Felt so wonderful afterwards and I believe some of that was due to the short labor. Planning on starting on Gentle Birth and EPO in a couple weeks with this pregnancy as well.



Offline Kansas Girl

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2008, 10:04:29 AM »
I used it!  I hardly had to push at all! My water broke and out came baby ;)  Labor was still difficult, but my husband reminded me that it  is called Gentle Birth not Gentle Labor  ;D  I also didn't suffer from post-partum depression like I usually do -KG

YoopreMama

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2008, 10:51:09 AM »
It sounds "gentler" than the other 2 formulas, based on ingredients...I'm interested!  ;D

Anyone else use it?

YoopreMama

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2008, 12:21:45 PM »
OK...where to buy Gentle Birth from?  :)

Offline westernmama

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2008, 12:24:26 PM »
OK...where to buy Gentle Birth from?  :)

I was thinking it was from Meadow Mountain Herbs?? :-\ :-\

Modified:

Here is Gentle Birth Formula at Meadow Mountain Herbs:
http://www.mountainmeadowherbs.com/gentle-birth-formula-p-31.html?osCsid=7df3fd1cd9f484e1b23fa5ec4bbbcfb1
« Last Edit: March 13, 2008, 12:27:32 PM by westernmama »

YoopreMama

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2008, 12:26:55 PM »
Thank you!  I was hoping it would be somewhere where I could buy flavored liquid stevia, too...Mtn. Meadow Herbs

Modified:

$$$:

 1032   One 2 oz Bottle   Gentle Birth Formula - 2oz  $15.75 USD 
 1034   One 4 oz Bottle   Gentle Birth Formula - 4oz  $30.50 USD 
 1032r   One 2 oz Bottle  Gentle Birth Formula w/o Red Raspberry - 2 oz    $15.75 USD 
 1034r   One 4 oz Bottle   Gentle Birth Formula w/o Red Raspberry - 4 oz    $30.50 USD


Our Best Selling Women's Formula
"This is a unique blend of the herbs that have been successfully used to help the body prepare for giving birth. It is meant to be taken for the 5 weeks prior to your due date.

Survey Results from 100 Gentle Birth Formula Users:

70% said they had less pain during labor and delivery
72% experienced advanced dilation before discomfort was felt
83% said they had shorter and easier labor
87% experienced very little to moderate blood loss
85% reported a shorter recovery time

You will need 4 oz for the recommended five weeks. If you anticipate taking additional Red Raspberry during the last 5 weeks of your pregnancy, the Gentle Birth Formula is now available without Red Raspberry upon request.

Contains extracts of: Blessed Thistle Herb, Red Raspberry Leaf, False Unicorn Root, Squawvine Herb, Blue Cohosh Root, Ginger Root, Scullcap Herb, Motherwort Herb, Wild Yam Root and Bayberry Bark."
« Last Edit: March 13, 2008, 04:35:42 PM by Yooper »

YoopreMama

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2008, 03:22:04 PM »
I should have mentioned that they DON'T recommend taking EPO w/ this formula.  You can read on their site why...

Offline Maria/NHM

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2008, 03:59:25 PM »
I should have mentioned that they DON'T recommend taking EPO w/ this formula.  You can read on their site why...

I'm planning on taking this in a few weeks. I've been on their site but didn't see where they mention not taking EPO. If you can find it again could you link it. Thanks.
My Blog
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Learning and sharing about nutrition and herbs
My user name used to be Ella :)

YoopreMama

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2008, 04:39:27 PM »
No problem  :) :

http://www.mountainmeadowherbs.com/evening-primrose-p-411.html?osCsid=7df3fd1cd9f484e1b23fa5ec4bbbcfb1

Quote
Cautions:

It is not suggested to use Evening Primrose Oil internally while pregnant if you have had more than one baby as it may cause a loose cervix and overdose may result in bad tears.

First time moms are suggested to not start using it until after 37 weeks gestation.

People with high blood pressure are discouraged from using Evening Primrose Oil internally as it may cause excessive bleeding.

Do not use Evening Primrose Oil if you are currently taking anticonvulsants, anticoagulants, anti-platelet drugs, phenothiazines or thrombolytics as it may lower seizure threshold and/or decrease effectiveness of these drugs.

We do not suggest oral use while taking our Gentle Birth Formula, especially for moms who have experienced heavy bleeding with previous births.

Offline Maria/NHM

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2008, 04:11:41 AM »
Thanks! I'm glad you mentioned this since I was planning on taking both. I guess I'll just stick with the gentle birth formula!
My Blog
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Offline rockclimber

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2008, 07:06:21 PM »
Has anyone tried Moutain Meadow Herbs formula called Gentle Birth? I just got some (won't need it for a little while) and wondered what your results were. The ingrediants are as follows-blessed thistle,blue cohosh,false unicorn,red raspberry,squawvine,bayberry,ginger,scullcap,motherwort,& wild yam.
What do you think? Should I try it or get the 5W.

I haven't personally used the Gentle Birth formula from Mountain Meadow Herbs (I definately will next time), but I've known three mothers who have used it.  They each had a total labor and delivery time of less than 3 hours! And two of them were first time mothers!!!! :o  It also seemed to help with recovery afterward.
Oh, and I did know another mother who used it only sporadically, and it didn't seem to help.

Kassia

Offline momof6

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2008, 03:55:13 AM »
I have used Gentle Birth formula from Mountain Meadow Herbs with my last 2 births, at the recommendation of my midwife.  WONDERFUL!  I wouldn't be without it!!!  My babies have all been big, smallest was nearly 10 pounds, largest was 13  :o and my last 2, with the Gentle Birth, were 11 pounds 12 ounces and 11 pounds 14 ounces.

The first time I used it, the midwife checked me (I was overdue a few days) and here I was nearly 8 cm dilated......NO PAIN!  That baby boy flew out after like 7 contractions.  He was my best birth.  Start to finish (I'm talking first real contraction to actual birth):  30 minutes!

With the latest, I had a few contractions, but not regular, but we drove anyway the 2 miles to our midwife and I apologized because they weren't regular (but I didn't want this one to be a close catch like last time!).  I put a nightie on and used the bathroom.......WHOA, that child was on his way!!!  Within 10 minutes, he was born!  Both children have been happy and healthy.  I recommend the Gentle Birth Formula very highly!  I only with I had known of it with our first 4!!!   :(

All the best,
Sheri
Sheri

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YoopreMama

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2008, 10:04:44 AM »
Sheri--
You ought to send in your testimony to the company--it just sold me on it!  :D

Thanks for chiming in, too, Kassia!

Offline berthday

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2008, 10:50:26 AM »
Thanks so much for your testimony. I will definintly be using it and look so forwad to seeing how it works. My first was a 23 hour labor and my second a 6 hour labor. i did not know about these herbs then and am so excited to have a more natural way to go this time!

Offline savedbygrace

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2008, 12:38:33 PM »
I have been taking the L6W formula from Natures Sunshine. I have had the braxton hicks for about 3 weeks now but I dont know how far dialated I am because my midwife said I am too far up for her to even check me! Im frustrated because this is the first time I have gone past my due date! (I was due yesterday) Anyone know of a great way to get labor going?

Offline herbs girl

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2008, 02:34:16 AM »
I have been taking the L6W formula from Natures Sunshine. I have had the braxton hicks for about 3 weeks now but I dont know how far dialated I am because my midwife said I am too far up for her to even check me! Im frustrated because this is the first time I have gone past my due date! (I was due yesterday) Anyone know of a great way to get labor going?

 In a previous baby, I used Labor Balm and castor oil and was able to avoid most interventions with my scheduled induction!  Very much worth it, I had the most natural birth I have ever had! My doctor Ok'd both the labor balm and the castor oil.



Offline bizymum

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2008, 03:11:16 AM »
In a previous baby, I used Labor Balm and castor oil and was able to avoid most interventions with my scheduled induction!  Very much worth it, I had the most natural birth I have ever had! My doctor Ok'd both the labor balm and the castor oil.

What is in Labor Balm and where do you get it?

Offline herbs girl

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2008, 03:54:23 AM »
In a previous baby, I used Labor Balm and castor oil and was able to avoid most interventions with my scheduled induction!  Very much worth it, I had the most natural birth I have ever had! My doctor Ok'd both the labor balm and the castor oil.

What is in Labor Balm and where do you get it?

Actually I think they still carry Labor  Balm, but they have a new product which is pretty much the same thing, only its supposed to be better called Labor Boost. Heres where you get it
http://www.babybellybotanicals.com/proddetail.php?prod=BIRTH-A-LB&cat=8

http://www.babybellybotanicals.com/proddetail.php?prod=BIRTH-B-BALM

 With my previous baby, I rubbed it on my belly every 2 hours or so starting 3 days or so before my scheduled induction, Then once I felt contractions, I put it on every hour or so. Then the night before the induction, I used a Root beer/castor oil cocktail, and I was having crampy/contractions next morning. The doctor held off on giving me anything for a while, because she thougth maybe I was already in labor. She did have to give me one dose of something to help, but I had the most natural contraction pattern I have ever had in all 3 of my total inductions!



YoopreMama

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Re: Labor prep herbs: 5W vs. PN6
« Reply #29 on: March 24, 2008, 10:53:25 AM »
OK, I ordered the 4 oz. Gentle Birth formula from Mountain Meadow Herbs...my midwife wasn't thrilled w/ using the 5W or the PN6, but this is milder... ::)

You're supposed to start 5 weeks before your due date (which would be tomorrow), but they said it'd arrive in 7-10 business days, so I'm OK starting a little later...with shipping it was $37.45...hope it works for me like it did for others!   ;D