On Holly Madison’s adorable baby special Holly Has a Baby on E!, she told her friend the doctors were going to stick seaweed in her vagina to induce labor. That didn’t sound right, but it turns out this is actually something that happens in hospitals. Though, it is a little more involved than that statement may make it out to be.
According to the Mayo Clinic, small rods of seaweed, called Laminaria, are often used as a cervical dilator as part of the induction process. The seaweed works by absorbing moisture and then expanding, which causes the cervix to expand. This will help ease the pain and stress of childbirth, and can help prevent the need for a c-section surgery to deliver the baby which is a positive note. Some people choose to use yoni eggs for a similar purpose (read @ yonieggs.co about the products themselves), but the seaweed use is more commonplace.
This in itself doesn’t induce labor, it just readies the body for the birth process in a more natural way compared to some chemical options. Still, later on in the procedure Pitocin, a synthetic version of the hormone oxytocin, is delivered intravenously. An alternative to the seaweed dilation is a balloon-tipped catheter, which is filled with saline to open up the cervix.
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