Natural Ways to Induce Labor
The time is almost upon you. For the last 40 weeks, you’ve been eagerly awaiting the moment soon to come, and you’re ready for it! But then… nothing? No signs of labor? What’s going on?
When this happens (and with some moms to be, even before the due date), some expecting moms begin to try and induce labor on their own, to avoid the generally unwanted hospital induction. Here are some of the most common and natural ways to induce your labor.
Of course, use caution when trying any of these methods, and always speak to your doctor first.
Probably the most common and most popular method, for obvious reasons, is to have sex. It may take some careful maneuvering on behalf of your partner, but if you can, sex can help release oxytocin, a hormone responsible for causing contractions.
“Herbal remedies such as blue cohosh and black cohosh are much stronger than homeopathic remedies, and should be used with caution. Blue cohosh in particular has been linked to complications for babies at birth. You should get professional guidance before using herbal remedies.”// www.babycenter.com.au
So with all herbal remedies, proceed with extreme caution and always get medical advice first (here’s a quick list of what herbs to avoid during pregnancy), based on your personal situation. Evening primrose oil is also popular, applied directly onto the cervix as opposed to the belly. However…
“Since pregnancy can cause adverse reactions to the most common things, this may not be the best choice.” // www.kidspot.com.au
As in, relax.
Labor won’t commence if you’re under undue pressure and are tense.
“Try a warm (not hot) bath. Get a professional massage with the only goal being relaxation. Acupuncture and acupressure, because of the focus on key areas of the body, have also helped inspire labour. In addition, some women rely on aromatherapy, specifically the soothing scent of clary sage, to relax.” // www.kidspot.com.au
Starting to feel those contractions but not quite in labor yet? Go for a walk to hopefully kick things into gear. It allows your hips to move laterally and help bring baby into the correct position for birth. Also, as simple as it sounds, standing upright lets gravity do its thing.
This is when women gently rub their nipples to help along the beginning of contractions.
“This stimulation brings about the release of oxytocin, which is the natural form of pitocin. Oxytocin causes contractions, which sometimes evolve into labour.” // www.kidspot.com.au
However, most doctors do not really favor this method as it has been linked to long and strong uterine contractions, which can sometimes result in the slowing of the fetal heart rate. Unless advised or discussed with your doctor, it is not recommended.
Spicy food such as a curry, have been known to bring on labor, although the scientific studies are out on this one. It is thought the stimulation of your tummy via the spices may result in stimulation of the uterus, then it’s action time!
However, you don’t really want to be going into labor with a full stomach of Mexican food, so start lightly!
“Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain which is thought to help soften your cervix and bring on labour. Eating large amounts will probably stimulate your tummy, which could also stimulate your uterus. ” // www.babycenter.com.au
Finally, we’ll leave you with some real obscure ones, nothing we recommend but interesting to read nonetheless.
- Blowing up balloons: the theory is that the build up of abdominal pressure encourages labor to start.
- Bouncing on your birth ball or driving on a bumpy road would seem to put the same faith in shaking things up a little.
- Watch a weepy film and have a good cry.
- Wear your best knickers (sod’s law will ensure that your waters break in them). // www.babycenter.com.au