Looking for natural ways to induce labor? You are not alone, most women reaching the end of pregnancy feel this way.
While it’s important to allow our babies to be born when they’re ready, sometimes circumstances still occur and labor should be induced. This doesn’t mean relying as heavily on induction by the medical establishment, where labor can be induced simply because the baby is “late,” or to make birthing fit in with some prearranged schedule. This kind of induction can be harmful, and interferes with the natural process of birth. When there’s a genuine health risk, however, or it has been a long time since your expected due date, labor might need to be induced.
You should never consider even natural ways to induce labor unless you’re at least forty weeks pregnant. This is because due dates aren’t always right – they are based on and assumed that you have a twenty-eight day cycle. However, if your cycles are long or irregular, your due date might be off. By inducing too early, you could bring a baby into the world before he or she is ready to survive outside your body. By comparison, some doctors will consider inducing labor at thirty-six weeks.
This is why many people prefer to look for natural labor induction, instead of using medications. There are a number of things that you can do to help stimulate contractions and start labor naturally, but they won’t work unless your body is ready to go into labor. That means its much more difficult to start a labor before it’s really time.
Five helpful ways to induce labor naturally
- Nipple Stimulation
If you’re having contractions, but aren’t yet in labor, you can get things going by walking. This lets your hips sway from side to side, bringing your baby into a position where he or she can be born. Walking also lets gravity bring the baby down further into the pelvis, and can help relieve early pains.
Sex can also help you start labor. This might sound odd, and most women aren’t interested in making love in advanced pregnancy. However, there are prostaglandins in semen that can actually stimulate contractions. If you’re well overdue, and interested in natural ways to induce labor, making love can be one way to get things started.
Some people recommend certain foods to induce labor naturally. It’s said that spicy food can stimulate the digestive system, and in turn, the uterus. However, you may wish to avoid them, since going into labor on a full stomach can be a very uncomfortable experience. Some people also use pineapple, which is known to contain prostaglandins that help your cervix become ready to give birth. Likewise, black licorice might help your body produce these chemicals.
Midwives sometimes practice nipple stimulation to speed labor along. This kind of stimulation causes your body to release oxytocin. This substance causes contractions, and can bring about true labor. However, this will only happen if you’re already close – traditionally it’s used when a woman is well past due, or when labor has started, then stalled. Nipple stimulation can either be done by hand, or with a breast pump. However, it’s important to avoid hyperstimulating your body, since this can cause you to get too little rest between contractions. Be sure to stimulate only one breast at a time, mimicking the feel of a baby suckling. Always stop as soon as a contraction begins, and wait fifteen minutes before beginning again.
The last popular method for inducing labor is accupressure. It’s important that this treatment be administered by someone who’s trained in it, but it’s safe and normally effective. Fathers to be may wish to learn accupressure labor induction techniques. Accupressure can also help to relieve pain caused by contractions. As with all natural way to induce labor, accupressure won’t work if your body isn’t ready, so don’t be disappointed if the results aren’t what you’d hoped for.
Inducing labor naturally is often the better alternative to conventional induction. This is because of the decreased chance of starting labor when our bodies aren’t prepared to give birth. Before considering using even these techniques, however, you should be sure to talk to your midwife or another professional.
This will help ensure that your labor occurs safely and under controlled, comfortable conditions.