Time seems to play tricks on you from the moment you fall pregnant. Sometimes the weeks rush by, leaving you wondering how so much time has passed without you ticking off a single thing from your to do list. Other times, time will seem to crawl by at an almost excruciating pace. This is especially true during the last few weeks of pregnancy. Chances are, you’ve crossed everything off your to do list, you’ve taken time off work to prepare for the baby, and you’re waiting for the birth.
If your due date has been and gone, you are probably ready to try anything to kick start labour. Here are some tried and tested ways to naturally induce labour:
Let’s talk about sex
The theory behind this is that sex can trigger the release of oxytocin, a hormone that controls contractions during labour, and may cause labour. It is also thought that having an orgasm could help to stimulate the uterus and get labour started. As well as this, semen contains a high number of prostaglandins which may help to soften the cervix in preparation for labour. Sex has not been proven to induce labour, although there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support the theory. Having sex with a big bump can be a bit difficult, you may have to get creative with your positioning. Spooning, woman on top, and from behind are three positions commonly used during the third trimester.
Needle in a haystack
Acupuncture has been proven to be successful at inducing labour, although only a limited number of studies have been carried out. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles into the body. Depending on the placement of the needles, the energy within the body is stimulated to work in a certain way. Acupuncture is safe during pregnancy, and may start to work as soon as six hours after the appointment.
Hot, hot, hot
There is no evidence to back up this claim, but many women swear it was a spicy curry that kick started their labours. The theory is that eating very spicy food can cause affect your digestive system, which may in turn cause your uterus to contract. Spicy food also contains prostaglandins which may also cause contractions.
Nipple stimulation is said to be effective for inducing labour as it releases the contraction-causing hormone oxytocin. Your nipple stimulation should mimic a baby suckling, because this is how the oxytocin release will be triggered. Massage your whole nipple, one at a time, including the areola, for five minutes. Then take a 15 minute break, and try this again on the other breast if nothing has happened. You should repeat this for about an hour, three times a day. You should cease nipple stimulation once labour has started.
Touch me babe
An induction massage is said to be an effective way to induce labour, and even if it doesn’t work for you, it will be a nice way to relax before the baby arrives. Choose a masseuse who is train in induction massages, and they will work on acupressure points that are usually avoided during pregnancy for fear of induction. They will also use specific essential oils that are said to induce labour.
Round the block
Walking may help to bring on labour. The rhythmic pressure of the baby’s head pushing down on your cervix as you walk, may stimulate the release of oxytocin. It can also help to get baby in a good position for the birth. Try not to tire yourself out, if labour does start, you will need plenty of energy. A short stroll round the block every hour or so is probably best. Bouncing on a birthing ball could also have a similar effect.
If you try any of the above and have success, let us know. What have you tried so far to induce labour?
Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.