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August 8, 2007 9:25 PM   Subscribe

Pregnant Sex Filter: So the wife is 37 weeks preggo and wants the baby NOW. She read the sex will sometimes induce pregnancy early so shes been all over me lately (yay me!) Tonight shes convinced that it "felt different" and is wondering if this means shes dilated.

This is our second, and the first came a month early at 35 1/2 weeks when her water suddenly broke and she had to be induced, so the whole naturally dilating thing is new to her.
posted by skrike to Health & Fitness (20 answers total)

Ha. Well, my ex's sister had the baby at 32 weeks after a doggy-style session...
posted by SpecialK at 9:27 PM on August 8, 2007

Response by poster: SpecialK: Tried it!
posted by skrike at 9:28 PM on August 8, 2007

I think that she would be feeling labor pains if she has started dialate.
posted by metahawk at 9:51 PM on August 8, 2007

Best answer: It's possible she's started to dilate, but many women are dilated 2-3cm for days. If she really wants to speed things up she should have her OB/Gyn strip her membranes. My wife had that done for our second child and she went into labor the next day.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:59 PM on August 8, 2007

There'd be cramping if she's dilated. And some blood/mucus.
posted by aerotive at 10:05 PM on August 8, 2007

This is something I would normally not talk about in polite company, but for your wife's sake (I understand the "get this baby out of me!" sentiment) I will give you this tip: Nipple stimulation can bring on labor very effectively. Try it.
posted by amyms at 10:23 PM on August 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: What cerebrus19 suggests is manageable, but not very comfortable. The sex and the nipple stimulation are a lot less invasive, especially if her partner is the one helping her along.

Hope you're close to the hospital. Be careful. The second baby generally arrives a lot faster than the first.

Early congratulations on the new arrival!
posted by lilywing13 at 11:20 PM on August 8, 2007

Best answer: Sex will certainly induce pregnancy, but I think you mean labor.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:34 PM on August 8, 2007 [42 favorites]

Apparently you should only stimulate one nipple at a time as it can produce contractions fierce enough to distress the baby. (Or maybe it thinks someone's on their boobs, stealin their colostrum?)

Yeah and, it all goes much faster the second time round.
posted by slightlybewildered at 11:43 PM on August 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

Pregnancy is an age-old method of hurrying along a stubborn pregnancy, particularly if the woman climaxes, as this releases oxytocins, which will facilitate labour (nipple stimulation does the same thing). I can attest to the fact that it works.

Some doctors will "stretch" the cervix during an examination, which can also help trigger the body to get moving.
posted by dg at 12:54 AM on August 9, 2007

I went two full weeks late (into August...guh!) and tried everything. What I read about sex to induce labor--and what my midwife corroborated--was that to get enough prostaglandin into one's system to accomplish this your man would have to have sex (and ejaculate) about six times. So, you may want to warn her about that. Or not ;-)

Anyway, all of what's been mentioned above may work or none of it may work. I had my membranes stripped twice, had acupuncture twice, drank some uterine toning teas, walked a lot. It's impossible to tell if any or all of that had an effect.
posted by cocoagirl at 4:07 AM on August 9, 2007

I can understand your wife wanting baby NOW, but what does baby want? That whole 35 week, 37 week mumbo jumbo is an ESTIMATE. It can easily be off by +/- 3 weeks or so, depending on length of normal period and other factors. There have been plenty of 44-week babies who were "4 weeks overdue" with medical team freaked out, mom freaked out, etc., and the medical folks never bother to remember (or tell mom) that it was an estimate in the first place.

Baby will come out when he wants to come out. When ripe, he starts secreting the hormones that tell mom's body "here I come" and starts the whole chain of softening that body part, hardening that one, etc.
posted by Bradley at 4:10 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

Late-Pregnancy Sex Doesn't Speed Labor
New Study Rejects 'Old Wives' Tale'

Women can go around painlessly dilated for weeks. It's not something to give a toss about, really.

Many people try to use the information that is gathered from a vaginal exam to predict things like when labor will begin or if the baby will fit through the pelvis. A vaginal exam simply cannot measure these things...

And, at 37 weeks, relax. The kid could easily have over a month to go.

Elective induction increases the risk of giving birth to a baby that is near-term (born between 35 and 37 weeks, even when it seems the baby should be 38–40 or even 42 weeks by dates). In spite of their physical appearance, near-term infants are physiologically and developmentally significantly less mature than full-term infants and are at increased risk for mortality and morbidity in the newborn period (Wang, Dorer, Fleming, & Catlin, 2004). The near-term infant is at increased risk for temperature instability, hypoglycemia, respiratory distress, apnea and bradycardia, and clinical jaundice (Wang et al., 2004). The baby's difficulty in coordinating suck/swallow and breathing abilities contributes to problems with feeding; subsequently, poor feeding adds an increased risk of hyperbilirubinemia (Sarici et al., 2004). Near-term infants are 2.4 times more likely than full-term infants to develop significant hyperbilirubinemia (Sarici et al., 2004). Even “well” near-term infants who have a normal hospital stay are at increased risk for hospital readmittance, most frequently due to inadequate feeding and to jaundice...

You don't want a membrane sweep/strip at 37 weeks, and I can't imagine what sort of practitioner would want anything to do with that.

For multiparas, the median duration of pregnancy was 269 days, also significantly longer than the prediction...

I am 40wks myself and trying not to be unsympathetic, but. D-I-Y labour induction methods are really old wives' tales, and doctors' methods are far from risk-free. And, really -- ask in five weeks, not now.
posted by kmennie at 5:18 AM on August 9, 2007

Yeah and, it all goes much faster the second time round.

My old mum used to say that after the first one, subsequent births were like shelling peas.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:40 AM on August 9, 2007

Our midwife suggested castor oil to speed delivery, but I'm not sure if it will induce labour. It certainly sped up my wife's second delivery.

Note that the apparent mechanism is that taking a big dose of castor oil gives you massive diarrhea and all those contracting muscles get everything going. So keep near a toilet.
posted by GuyZero at 8:12 AM on August 9, 2007

My wife was in the same boat - trying anything to get our little guy here...we did the same as you and 2 days later were in the hospital. Good Luck!
posted by doorsfan at 9:55 AM on August 9, 2007

I've had my membranes stripped during my pregnancies when I was postterm and it did NOTHING.

Tell your wife to be patient and let the baby continue cooking-and her cervix to continue ripening. BELIEVE ME that is important.
posted by konolia at 10:23 AM on August 9, 2007

(But it's okay to keep "making you happy" unless the doc says otherwise. Just don't expect it to speed things up until it really is time.)
posted by konolia at 10:24 AM on August 9, 2007

My old mum used to say that after the first one, subsequent births were like shelling peas.

Now that is funny. And true, if by "shelling peas" you mean "pooping out a pumpkin."

skrike, I have four children. At the end of each pregnancy I tried everything--sex, nipple-stimulation, membrane-stripping, you name it. Well, not castor oil, because my sister tried that and got only non-productive contractions and diarrhea. All of these will cause contractions, but not necessarily labor.

If your wife is really serious, she should ask her obgyn to break her water. 37 weeks is term, and a lot of doctors will do it in a situation where it's a second child and there are no known potential complications.

This is controversial; many people say intervention causes unnecessary emergency c-sections. I don't know--all I can say is it's worked for me and for maybe four or five close friends, with no complications.
posted by torticat at 11:29 AM on August 9, 2007

Just don't go the oxytocin (aka Pitocin) route (in other words, have the doc induce)... I have heard the contractions produced by that are a hell of a lot more painful. Unless she's planning on an epidural.
posted by IndigoRain at 11:25 PM on August 9, 2007

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