Is there anything I can do to help my cervix get ready for labor?
There are things you may be able to do to help your cervix prepare for labor. They include Evening Primrose Oil, walking, enemas or castor oil and vaginal gels such as prostaglandin.
The oil from Evening Primrose has a sedative and laxative effect. It causes a relaxing effect on the muscles of the uterus. The oil contains gammalinolenic acid, something that the body uses in prostaglandin production. Prostaglandins help soften and prime the cervix in preparation for expansion during labor.
Walking will keep you upright and cause you to exert downward pressure on the cervix. This may helping you toward cervical effacement and dilation.
Enemas or castor oil will stimulate the bowel. This in turn may help to produce prostaglandins. The down side to this method is that when you do go into labor, it makes for a "messier" delivery. Also, once your bowels get moving, there is no shutting them off. In extreme cases this can lead to dehydration.
Finally, your doctor may use vaginal gels to induce labor. The hormone prostaglandin in a gel form may be applied high in the vagina to soften and dilate the cervix, making the area ready for labor. This may be enough to stimulate contractions on its own. More often, prostaglandin gel is used in conjunction with Pitrocin.