It is normal for mothers to get all excited to meet their little one, so it might be frustrating to get past your due date! However, there may be effective and natural ways to get labor started if you’re already 40 weeks into your pregnancy still don’t feel that the baby is arriving anytime soon.
According to a study published in Birth, 50 percent out of the 201 women surveyed tried non-prescribed methods to kickstart their labor. Once you get a go signal from your doctor, give these methods a try. You might be one step closer to seeing your tiny bundle of joy in person!
Get up and go.
Start moving around. Many women simply start by walking during the later stage of their pregnancy. Gravity, as well as the swaying of your hips, can help your baby descend into your pelvis and prepare your cervix for labor.
If you’re already experiencing contractions, help your labor to progress by walking around. Just remember not to tire yourself too much. You’ll need all that energy for the big day!
Bounce on an exercise ball.
If you’re hiring a doula, you will probably be introduced to this technique to push the baby down into the pelvis and to speed up labor. Ball exercises have been helping pregnant women turn their baby toward the birth canal for years.
When doing such method, make sure you are comfortably positioned before bouncing up and down. Better yet, find a professional who can assist you better with the activity.
Stimulate your nipples.
Nipple stimulation is a known method to boost labor. When the nipples are stimulated, the body releases the hormone called oxytocin, which plays a significant role in initiating labor. In fact, most doctors use a synthetic form of this hormone known as Pitocin while inducing labor and monitoring contractions with the use of fetal monitoring toco transducers. Massaging the whole breast, not just the nipples, is the proper way of doing it.
Have lots of sex!
Out of the 50 percent of women who tried induction methods at home, 22.9 percent said that intercourse worked like a charm for them. This claim may even have some scientific proof. Since semen contains prostaglandins — which have similar components to Cervidil, a medication that promotes cervical ripening — making love with your partner may actually get you closer to labor. Sex may be the last thing on your mind at this point, but anything that can help in your pregnancy is a good thing. This method may even be enjoyable for you and your partner!
Give evening primrose oil a try.
Many women and midwives swear by evening primrose oil to get labor going. There is not enough evidence on the effectiveness of this herb, but it is known to contain prostaglandins, a hormone that may influence the ripening of the cervix.
Evening primrose oil is available in capsules, but you can also rub the oil onto the cervix or even insert the capsules into the vagina. However, make sure to consult with your doctor first before taking any herbs throughout your pregnancy.
Add dates to your diet.
As you get nearer and nearer your due date, eat six dates a day to help open up your cervix as well as to jumpstart and shorten your labor. A study shows that eating date fruits during the last four weeks of your pregnancy has significantly lessened the need for labor induction using oxytocin. Plus, dates are yummy so you can never go wrong!
Relax with acupuncture.
Acupuncture is one of the anecdotal methods pregnant mothers often swear by. It turns out that inserting thin needles in several pressure points of the body can help stimulate uterine activity and give your little one a nudge. This relaxing therapy is also known to be beneficial to pregnant women early on in the pregnancy, alleviating morning sickness, lower back pain, and depression.
Consult with your doctor first.
Effective home remedies for labor induction may vary from woman to woman, so you may need to find out which best works for you. If you’re planning on trying one, don’t forget to inform your doctor or midwife to know which ones are safe for you and your baby.
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