Before you panic about being past your due date, keep in mind that the “estimated due date” was developed by a botanist in 1744 who calculated it based on evidence in the Bible.
The fact is, the estimated due date was poorly calculated and, if left alone, 50%-80% of mothers will gestate beyond 40 weeks.
If you’re past your due date and eager to see your baby, here are a few natural ways to induce labor. However, don’t let your eagerness to see your baby (or your fear about going past your due date) overshadow your common sense.
Your baby will come when he or she is ready, and short of any truly evidence-based risks (scroll to the bottom for a summary) you shouldn’t worry.
Acupuncture has been used in various parts of Asia to induce labor.
During sex, hormones known as prostaglandins are released. These are hormones similar to those given in hospital to induce labor. Prostaglandins soften the cervix encouraging it to open. Another hormone released during sex is oxycotin. This is released during orgasm and helps to start contractions.
Walking is great exercise and helps induce labor. Don’t strain yourself! Easy, short walks in the morning and evening help move your baby down into the birth canal, using their weight (and their head!) to ease your cervix open.
4. Castor Oil
Castor oil works indirectly by stimulating your bowels. Castor oil is said to induce labor after the 38th week. Be careful when taking castor oil as it can cause diarrhea.
5. Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil is an herb that’s been used for centuries. It helps to release prostaglandins which soften the cervix.
You can rub evening primrose oil directly on your cervix or ingest it.
A gentle massage helps to raise the level of oxytocin in your body. This hormone helps bring on contractions. A labor inducing massage should only be done by a therapist as they know which pressure points to press.
Though this hasn’t been proven scientifically, eating certain foods such as curry or spicy foods is said to begin labor.
Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain. The enzyme softens the cervix and stimulates muscle contractions. Pineapple also eases digestion.
Moving your hips helps your baby descend.
10. Raspberry Leaf Tea
Raspberry leaf tea helps to strengthen the pelvic region.
Bananas are a rich source of potassium which is known to help in muscle contraction. Other foods in this list include licorice, dates, basil.
Remember to always consult your doctor or midwife before you try to induce labor.
For more information about birth read our other articles:
First published at www.younghopes.com
Featured image source: www.fitmama4life.com
She provides her writing services independently and can be found odesk. When she isn’t hunched over a computer, she’s out being inspired by nature.
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