The end of pregnancy can be a hard time for pregnant women, for many different reasons. You may be anxious about when your little one will arrive, especially if you have other children to look after and organise. A lot of women look at how they can self induce labour and try some pretty dangerous things to make it happen. There are several natural ways to induce labour that will not harm your baby.
We all have to remember that our babies come when they are ready, maybe you have a longer menstrual cycle than other women. This can effect how long you go over your dates, however, many women do not realise this. Due dates are calculated on an average woman’s menstrual cycle of 28 days, so if your cycle is normally 30 days or more then you can expect to go overdue as this is normal for your body.
If you are thinking of ways to help your baby along, make sure you use safe methods as you have worked really hard to get your baby this far. You may hear people talking about caster oil and how effective it is, but it can actually be very harmful to a baby.
So what are the natural ways to induce labour?
Walking and swimming are great ways to gently exercise, they are perfect to get baby into an optimal fetal position. Getting your baby into the best position will be the most influential way to kick start things and have a gentler labour.
Sex is a well known way to naturally induce labour, however it is probably the last thing on your mind. However, the truth is that it really does work and I’m sure your partner will really enjoy the closeness.
Having an organism may help to stimulate your womb (uterus) into action. Having sex can trigger the release of oxytocin, a hormone that helps your contractions. Semen may help soften, or ripen the neck of your womb in preparation for labour (babycentre.co.uk).
Acupuncture works really well to help soften the cervix, the acupuncturist will insert fine needles into specific points in your body. There are 6 important points that they use which include:
Spleen 6 point (inner lower leg)
Bladder 6 point (outside of foot)
Pericardium 8 point (hand)
Bladder 67 point (outer toe)
Large intestine 4 point (web between thumb and finger)
Bladder 32 point (dimple if your buttocks).
Acupuncture is not painful and can be very relaxing, so no need to worry about the needles.
Evening primrose oil
Some midwives towards the end of pregnancy may recommend evening primrose oil. It can help thin and dilate your cervix for labour. You can take the capsules or rub the oil into your cervix during the last weeks of pregnancy.
Clary Sage essential oil is a really effective way to stimulate contractions in the final weeks of your pregnancy. Put a couple of drops onto a make up pad and inhale as and when needed. It is important to make sure you get a good quality oil to get the best benefits.
Meditation is a fantastic way to relax your body in preparation for labour. It helps by letting go of any tension that you are holding onto, so that you can achieve a relaxed state.
Nipple stimulation releases oxytocin which is the labour hormone that causes contractions. By rolling your nipple between your finger and thumb, it will release the hormone and hopefully start labour.
Your body has been through a lot this pregnancy and is shortly about to go through another tiring time, so take time to rest. By resting your body it initiates a relaxed state so that your body feels safe and not stressed, making it a safe time for your baby to make an entrance.
The most important thing to remember is to be patient, your baby will come out. Using the tools I just mentioned will help, especially if you use them in conjunction with each other. Have some time with your husband/partner, then go for a long walk, sniff some clary sage as you walk along and rest. If it doesn’t work, don’t give up, try it again and again. The aim is so soften your cervix over time not instantly, as this will be gentler on you and your baby.
For more informative pregnancy, birth and baby related articles, read our Maternity Mum blog.