Six ways to induce labour naturally

RnbIf you are uncomfortable with your pregnancy or want to induce labour for any reason, the first step is always to discuss the issue with your doctor or another medical professional overseeing your pregnancy. You want to make sure that you are far enough into your pregnancy to induce safely. You should be at least 40 weeks along, but remember that your due date is an estimate and could be off by a week or two. You may also have medical conditions or special circumstances that would make it unsafe to induce your labour early.

Once you have been cleared to try natural induction methods at home, ask your doctor about the methods you want to use. Once you begin, take it slow and monitor your body closely. You should be able to move your pregnancy toward the finish line without affecting your health or that of your baby in any way, but be gentle with yourself.

1. Go for a Walk

You don’t want to take a long run in the mountains while waiting to have your baby, but a stroll around the block or a trip to the local park can loosen and strengthen your muscles so they are ready for labour. Many doctors recommend daily walks for women in all stages of pregnancy.

2. Hit the Sheets.

Generations of women have believed that having sexual intercourse during the final trimester helps ripen the cervix to begin contractions. Modern research has shown that semen does not contain the hormones previously believed to start contractions, however having sex might help to release oxytocin which is known as the ‘contraction hormone’.

SEMEN: There has been research that indicates a high amount of prostaglandins after sex which helps to soften the cervix.

3. Stimulate Your Nipples

Breastfeeding is a form of communication between your new baby and your body. The more suckling the baby does, the more milk your body produces. It turns out you can speak for your baby by massaging your nipples to stimulate hormones that can bring on the contractions. Start with just a few minutes of stimulation and see what happens.

4. Take the Herbs

Have you heard that evening primrose is a safe route to home induction? If so, you may be interested in this short list of additional herbs used by women throughout the centuries:

Black cohosh
Blue cohosh
Red raspberry leaves
Black haw
Squaw vine herb
Blessed Thistle
According to the AAFP, there is no scientific proof that these herbs help induce labor. You are simply taking the word of generations of women when you go the herbal route. Yet, some medical doctors around the world do prescribe herbal combinations to women interested in inducing labour safely.

5. Use Castor Oil

This is another product that women have used to stimulate labour for many years, but there is no scientific evidence that it actually works. You may want to discuss this with your doctor before giving it a try.

6. Experiment with Acupuncture, Acupressure or Induction massage

What can thin needles do to get you into the delivery room? Traditional Chinese medicine has included this method for thousands of years, and studies have shown a high rate of success in modern times. One or two sessions can help you along, but the best results are typically seen with repeat visits throughout your pregnancy. If you prefer to stay away from needles, find a massage therapist experienced in induction massage. They will massage key pressure points to help your body ease into labour.

If you feel at any moment that you are going into labour or something is not right, seek medical care immediately. It is always good to keep a trusted companion with you or a phone call away at all times while waiting for labour to begin.

Darryl McCullagh

Dip Hyp / Cert HypB


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