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In the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I came across a lot of different ways to induce labor and other women’s midwives brew experience. After trying several different natural ways to induce labor such as eating spicy food, having sex, getting a prenatal massage, and stimulating my nipples, I became desperate.
On March 14, 2020, I decided to try out a drink called Midwives Brew to jumpstart my labor (out of all of the other safe labor prep teas). The castor oil in the ingredients induces labor by stimulating contractions. Take note that castor oil is a stimulant laxative. This could cause the baby to pass meconium (first stool or poop) in the womb which could then cause meconium aspiration (when your baby inhales amniotic fluid with the meconium in it).
Prior to actually going forward with making the smoothie, I looked up a bunch of forums to see if anyone had tried it and what they thought of it. That’s why I had to create this blog post of my own personal experience with the midwives brew smoothie. The ingredients to the midwives brew includes:
- 10 oz apricot juice
- 9 oz lemon verbena tea
- 2 tbs almond butter
- 2 tbs castor oil
- 1 Does the midwives brew actually work?
- 2 How does the midwives brew taste?
- 3 Can the midwives brew hurt the baby?
- 4 Do you recommend the midwives brew to induce labor?
- 5 Timeline Of Events Leading Up To Birth
- 6 C Section Experience
Does the midwives brew actually work?
Apparently, there’s an 85% success rate for spontaneous labor within 24 hours of drinking the midwives’ brew. From my personal experience (which you’ll read below), it definitely sparked labor around 24 hours. I lost a part of my mucus plug and ever since then, I was well on my way to being in active labor.
Immediately after taking the midwives’ brew smoothie, I felt little contractions. Those little contractions turned into some bigger, more painful ones. But it was all very irregular.
How does the midwives brew taste?
You might be wondering, “is the midwives’ brew nasty?”. Yes, it’s pretty gross. The mix of ingredients to make this midwives brew drink is not something I would ever put together. Like the almond butter made the drink very nutty and grainy while the castor oil made the overall texture of the drink “oily”. And the apricot juice made it oddly sour.
It’s definitely not a tasty drink but as I said earlier, I was desperate to jumpstart my labor. And that meant I was going to chug and down this nasty, nutty drink if it meant getting my baby out.
(There are other safer labor prep teas out there that you can order on Amazon without having to also buy each individual ingredient.)
Can you drink the midwives brew on a full stomach?
It’s recommended to drink the midwives brew on an empty stomach. However, I drank my midwives brew an hour or two after dinner.
Can the midwives brew hurt the baby?
The midwives brew can be dangerous for your baby if they inhale their poop. The castor oil in the ingredients is what stimulates contractions which can cause the baby to poop in the womb.
Do you recommend the midwives brew to induce labor?
No. I don’t recommend this method of inducing yourself. Not only does it taste nasty (you might vomit), but your midwives brew experience might go completely different from the way mine went.
Fortunately, my daughter and I were completely safe. But here’s the thing. I ended up with an emergent c-section (probably due to medical negligence). And when my doctor opened me up, he had to clean and suction my womb out really well. This is because my baby had passed meconium inside my womb due to the midwives brew.
I was so desperate to make myself go into labor because all of my contractions were around my rectum. As you continue reading my midwives brew experience, I hope you don’t take my experience as a “success” story. Because I would totally go back in time and skip the midwives brew.
Viewer discretion is advised. There is a picture of my mucus plug to show new moms what it looks like.
Timeline Of Events Leading Up To Birth
I made the Midwives Brew at 9 pm and blended all the ingredients in my smoothie maker.
Around 9:15-9:30 pm, I finished the drink. And I started to experience mild cramps with my baby’s movements.
At 10:15 pm my contractions became stronger.
I lost part of my mucus plug around 11:15 pm that night and thought this might actually be it.
Around 11:35 pm my husband and I headed to the hospital. And we got to the hospital around 11:55 pm.
The nurse checked my cervix and I was 1cm dilated. And the baby’s vital signs and heart rate were good.
Around midnight to 1:00 am I continued to be monitored and given time to see if I’d dilate more. I started progressing to almost 2cm with a softer & thinner cervix.
At this point, I was in excruciating pain around my rectum. And at 1:00 am I was given morphine IV and IM with fluids (lactated ringer).
I was sent home around 2:15 am after my pain started to settle. And the nurses knew it wasn’t baby’s time to come out yet.
My contractions became stronger and more regular throughout the night. By 5:20 am I had gotten little to no sleep.
The characteristic of my contraction pain was like shooting and aching crampy type of pain around my lower abdomen and shooting and throbbing pain in the rectum area feeling like the urge to poop but no bowel movement.
I basically didn’t do much the whole day but try and relax.
But around 5:30 pm I went to the bathroom and saw that I lost the rest of my mucus plug. I had no idea what a mucus plug looked like. So I was shocked when I saw this glob in my underwear.
After I lost my mucus plug, my contractions became more regular and stronger starting around 8:30 pm-9:00 pm. Contractions were happening every 7-13 min, lasting about a minute each.
Around 12:30 am, the pain from contractions became more and more regular and stronger. That’s when I debated on heading to the hospital. I didn’t want to drive to the hospital to get sent back home.
The pain and contractions were all still around my lower rectal area and couldn’t deal anymore. So at 1:20 am we got to the hospital.
The nurse checked my cervix and I was dilated 3.5cm and my baby’s head had dropped more.
Since they couldn’t admit me to labor and delivery until I was considered in active labor (4cm), they had me walk around the hospital for an hour to see if I’d progress more. If not, I would get sent home again.
My husband helped me walk as much as I could because I had to stop several times and cling to him and the hospital walls. I was in that much pain.
After walking around the hospital, around 3:10 am the nurse checked me again and I was dilated to 4cm (woot woot!).
So around 3:30 am I was finally admitted to the mother and baby unit. Then, I was given an epidural at 4:30 am and my first bag of antibiotics because I was GBS positive. You can read more about group b strep here.
Being in the worst pain of my life and going through all that stress had me so tired. But finally being admitted to the mother and baby unit helped me relax a little so I ended up taking a nap.
At 7:15 am there was a change of shift with nurses. And at 9:25 am OB 1 broke my water bag and I was 7cm dilated at the time.
At 11:30 am I was 8cm dilated and had a bloody show. I wasn’t progressing as fast as they wanted me to after breaking my water so at 1:20 pm I was given Pitocin to speed up my labor.
Around 3:15 pm I still had no cervical change but the baby’s head was lower.
I started experiencing breakthrough pain and was given IV push pain medication at 4:45 pm. Unfortunately, the epidural only worked on the right side of my body.
Change Of Shift
6:30 pm was when the day shift nurses and OB clocked out. And this is when OB 2 took over OB 1’s spot. He checked my cervix around 7:00 pm and I was 9cm dilated.
As OB 2 was checking my already 9cm dilated cervix, he noticed something wasn’t right. Mind you that I had nurses and OB 1 coming in and out throughout the whole day checking my cervix. I assumed they were checking what position my baby was in my uterus to make sure we were all still on the same page for a vaginal birth.
Well, come to find out my daughter was in an asynclitic presentation, not favorable for a vaginal birth.
I was given two options (which honestly wasn’t even options because he said a c section will need to be scheduled asap due to my daughter’s fluctuating fetal heart rate). However, he said we could try and take an hour to try repositioning my baby but that it was basically too late for a vaginal delivery.
The nurses tried to reposition my baby by switching me from side to side. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t working. Her heart rate continued to drop and fluctuate. And I was scared I was going to lose her.
C Section Experience
I ended up consenting to the c section at 7:15 pm. Then, at 7:30 pm I was rolled into the operation room.
My daughter entered this world via c-section at 8:14 pm. The moment I heard my daughter’s cry for the first time was the happiest moment of my life. I can’t even begin to explain the feeling of holding your baby, that your body grew, for the first time.
My husband was able to cut the umbilical cord and be there for the first few minutes of her birth. After they checked her APGAR (a quick newborn test performed on a baby at 1 and 5 minutes after birth) score, they handed her to me. Then, after a few minutes of holding her, I had to hand her back off to the nurses and my husband while I got sewn back together.
The OB performing my c section told me that my daughter had passed meconium in my womb so there was a huge mess he had to clean and suction. I couldn’t help but think my midwives’ brew experience is what led my baby to pass meconium.
What To Expect Before And During Your C Section
The way I felt before I undoubtedly knew I was going to get a c section is hard to explain. At the time OB 2 notified me that vaginal birth was most likely not going to happen, everything from that point on was a blur. This was especially because my body had worked so hard for so long to dilate to 9 cm and to find out that OB 1 never double-checked the day shift nurse that my baby was in fact in the right position favorable for a vaginal birth.
The c section procedure itself only took about 30 to 45 minutes. The time they get you prepped, cut, and bring your baby to you will go so fast. But from the time they take your baby so you can get stitched up will feel like forever. During the procedure, you’re going to fear the unknown and feel completely helpless. You’ll feel pressure when the OB is making an incision, but you won’t feel any pain.
Your mouth is going to be ridiculously dry. I remember the first thing I asked for was water when they rolled me back to the room.
I was rolled back to my room close to 10 pm. And I was very exhausted from the day. The nurses check in throughout the night and offer to watch your baby so you can get some rest.
My C Section And Midwives Brew Experience
You’ll most likely read many different varieties of experiences and outcomes. Overall, I made the choice to try the midwives brew it to jumpstart labor instead of safer labor prep teas out there. However, looking back, I feel like it was a dumb decision knowing that my daughter passed meconium.
Whether you’re having a planned c section or end up with an unexpected one like mine, don’t let anyone make you feel like any less of a mom. Oftentimes, a c section is the only choice for moms as both mom and baby can be in a life-threatening situation.
This is my birth story and my midwives brew experience. Don’t get discouraged if your birth doesn’t go as planned. The end result is all that matters, a healthy baby and a healthy mom.