10 Natural Ways to Encourage Labor When You Want That Baby Out!
by Sasha Brown-Worsham Friday at 3:57 PM
When you are 37.5 weeks pregnant and contracting constantly and wishing for maternity leave to begin, the absolute last thing you can possibly imagine is going for another two weeks. But, as we all know, there is no guarantee as labor can happen any time between the 37 and 40 week mark.
So I am here, waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Twiddling my thumbs. And waiting still. I know it's early and I want this baby to be as healthy as possible, so I am willing to wait longer. But in about a week or so, I am going to lose my patience.
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As a home birth mama who has no plans to induce or try to any non-natural means to get things going, I am curious about the natural ways moms-to-be get things started without drugs or IVs. Here are 10 natural ways moms-to-be can jump start their labor:
Red Rasberry Leaf Tea
Red Rasberry Leaf tea is one of the main things midwives will tell expectant mother's to drink. A "uterine tonic," it is said to tone the pelvic and uterine muscles and also to help relax blood vessels. It also causes muscles to contract or relax, depending on the dose and is said to ease labor and delivery.
Sperm contains prostaglandins that some theorize can help ripen a woman's cervix for labor. Is it real? Studies are inconclusive. But it sure is fun to try! Get in those acrobatic positions and try to enjoy the fact that this is the calm before the storm.
Some people believe that eating spicy foods will irritate your intestines and that can cause your uterus to contract. Personally, I live on hot foods and have never seen it work. But it's worth a try!
There is a restaurant in Georgia that claims that their eggplant Parmesan causes women to go into labor. Personally, I DID go into labor the day after having some, so I say proceed with caution. In fact, the basil and oregano in the sauce may be the culprits. Both herbs are contraindicated in pregnancy due to their potential ability to start labor.
This was like the BEST news my husband ever heard. And you know what? It's real. The theory is that gently rolling the nipples stimulates oxytocin, which is a hormone that causes contractions. This is one a lot of people I know have tried and they swear by it. Proceed with caution, though. It could cause contractions so strong, they are dangerous.
If you take a walk, you let gravity work for you. Gravity lowers the baby, puts pressure on the cervix can even dilate it. The day I went into labor with my daughter was a 4 mile walk day. Just sayin'.
I have known more than one woman who used this method and it led to BAD diarrhea and pain. It also led to a baby. But you know? Is that worth it? Some say it stimulates prostaglandin production.
Shiatsu specialists believe that certain spots between the thumb and the pointer finger, near the ankle, and on the shoulder could be connected to the uterus. Worth a try, no??
Pineapple, mango and kiwi all contain bromelain, which may stimulate prostaglandin that helps ripen the cervix. Not sure if it's true, but will say I have been craving pineapple non stop for weeks. Weird, right?
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil capsules can either be taken orally or inserted vaginally. Midwives say it thins and dilates the cervix. Could it? Anything is worth a try, I say.
Did you use anything to get labor started?