Eastern medicine targets certain points on the body that will naturally prepare it for labor including prostaglandins, which soften the cervix and Oxycontin that triggers contractions. This natural release of hormones creates a gradual onset of labor, often leading to a smoother, less painful, and less stressful delivery.
Western methods to induce labor include manual “breaking of the water,”manual “sweeping” of the membranes around the cervix, and the use of drugs like Oxycontin (Pitocin), or hormones such as prostaglandins or relaxin. These drugs are quite effective but can cause very strong contractions and speed up the process before the baby or mom’s body is ready. The use of drugs often leads to a cascade of additional interventions such as epidurals, episiotomy, vacuum delivery or C-section. Side effects from the drugs can include dizziness, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. And, the recovery time after C-section and episiotomy is also typically longer than natural births.