Pregnancy is such an exciting, exhausting, anticipating time in the life of a new mom. From the moment a new mom discovers that she is pregnant, to the final weeks of the gestational period, the thought of the little baby growing inside your uterus is the top priority. As a new mom, you may have experienced the early months of morning sickness, the nesting syndrome of trying to organize everything in your home, tiredness, swollen ankles, and perhaps giddiness over meeting the lovable newborn that you, and your partner, have created. As the end of your pregnancy nears, you may find yourself ready and anticipating your baby’s arrival more and more. There are lots of ways that people suggest trying to induce labor, in a natural way, that may be enticing to you. Below are some ideas for you to discover; however, you may wish to check with your medical professional before attempting any of these suggestions. Remember, your baby will arrive eventually, and you certainly don’t want to jeopardize the baby’s health, or your health, in any way, due to a bit of personal impatience.
Although there is no evidence that walking will actually begin your labor, it does provide many other benefits. Walking, for exercise, will keep you strong and limber so that you will be better prepared for when the “big day” actually arrives. You will need to be strong and have endurance to prosper through your labor and delivery, as well as recuperate so you can begin an active life with your newborn. Walking is actually one of the best forms of exercise for women who are pregnant. Walking briskly and enjoying the outdoors can clear your mind and provide relaxation like nothing else can do. Savor the simple things that are noticeable on your walks, such as the wildlife and nature that you venture upon or children playing in the outdoors. Overall, walking can be very beneficial to your mental and physical health.
Besides walking, there are several other exercises that are safe and beneficial for you while you are pregnant. Although these exercises also may not begin inducing your labor, they can make a very obvious impact on your physical stamina and your ability to relieve stress. Both of these bonuses can provide for a more pleasant environment, as you welcome your new baby into the world soon.
If you have a swimming pool that is assessible to you, then swimming laps or participating in some light water aerobics can help relieve stress on tired joints, or on your back. This can be a welcome relief after months of carrying around 35-plus pounds of baby weight.
Other women also enjoy light yoga or Pilates throughout their pregnancies. Although you may need to alter some of the poses towards the end of your pregnancy, the stretching and strength you maintain will benefit your body, in the long run. Be extra careful to maintain good balance while performing these exercises, because you certainly don’t want to hurt yourself, especially this late in the pregnancy.
Another exercise that has proven beneficial, in terms of inducing labor, are squats. Keep in mind that squats should be performed slowly and gently, but doing squats can induce labor because they allow gravity to work. Squats help assist your baby the ability to move downwards towards the birth canal, which naturally helps induce labor. They are also great at keeping you flexible and limber, which will benefit you during delivery.
Kegel exercises are another exercise that will help with the inducing and delivery process. Otherwise known as pelvic floor exercises, Kegel exercises work the muscles of the pelvic region by contracting and releasing them. This process may stimulate your labor, and will definitely come in handy during delivery. It is a good idea to practice Kegel exercises at least 10-15 minutes a day during the last days of pregnancy. On another note, Kegel exercise are also useful in preventing urinary incontinence; therefore, you may want to practice Kegels throughout your lifetime.
If you are familiar with an exercise ball, then you know that they help you strengthen your core and back muscles. Throughout your pregnancy, the use of the exercise ball can help make you stronger, thus provide for an easier delivery and recovery. The exercise ball can also be very useful towards the end of your pregnancy because with a little light bouncing, you may assist your baby in the ability to turn the proper way and prepare for entry into the birth canal. This process may also help your cervix dilate more rapidly as you become closer to delivery. Use of an exercise ball has been a common practice of midwives for decades, as they naturally use gravity to help begin the process of delivery.
Some people believe that having sex during those last couple of weeks of pregnancy will induce labor, perhaps because having sex releases a hormone called oxytocin, which may encourage your uterus to contract. Whether or not sex actually does induce labor is questionable, but one thing it can do is help relieve stress for both partners, and it can provide an intimacy between the two of you, as you prepare for your life to be altered in the very near future. It is also said that semen can help to soften the cervix, which is a plus for when delivery occurs. Most medical professionals feel that having sex during the final stages of pregnancy is perfectly safe. You will just need to be careful and choose a position that is comfortable for you and your partner. Please note that, once your water has broken, you should not have sex, as this may increase the risk of infection.
Stimulating your breast nipples is another way to release the hormone, Oxytocin, which may help cause your uterus to contract; thus, could begin labor. Your body responds to this activity similarly to how it responds to having sex. Your partner may try to stimulate your nipples for you, as an act of intimacy. You could also use a breast pump for stimulation. The simple act of rubbing or rolling a finger around your nipples may be all the stimulation that it takes to work.
This is yet another activity that releases the Oxytocin hormone that increases the chances of your uterus contracting. It is these contractions of the uterus that will eventually aid in delivery of your newborn child. Acupuncture is not usually recommended by health care professionals until at least the 40th week of pregnancy. This is a precautionary timetable. Acupuncture isn’t for every person, so this may be something that you will need to put some thought and investigation into, or discuss it with your medical professional.
Eating pineapple to help induce your labor might be something you have never heard of before now. There are no conclusive studies that prove that pineapple will begin labor; however, there is a strong suggestion that pineapple will help things run smoothly once the labor has begun. Perhaps the main reason is because pineapple contains a proteolytic enzyme in it, called bromelain, that may help to soften your cervix. The addition of bromelain, which performs like a prostaglandin in your body, can prepare your cervix for the exiting of your newborn. This is definitely a positive thing, so during the last few weeks of pregnancy, you may wish to savor some slices of pineapple on a regular basis. Fresh pineapple contains the most bromelain, so try to have fresh, if it is available.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
There are many tales available that drinking Red Raspberry leaf tea, or ingesting it in a capsule form, during the late stages of pregnancy may help induce labor. Although there is no definite evidence of this, tea drinkers do find that tea helps relieve stress and relieve headaches when enjoyed routinely. The tea may also aid in balancing your hormones, which can be a bit challenging and chaotic throughout your pregnancy. If having a cup or two a day of red raspberry leaf tea, or taking a capsule daily, can provide you some calm and peace during this exciting yet scary time, then by all means, sip it slowly and thoroughly enjoy the taste. Note that red raspberry leaf tea can be found in most drug stores and in vitamin shops.
The use of castor oil to induce a woman’s labor has been around a very long time. Although, using Castor oil in cooking during the late pregnancy stages may get things moving for you and baby, there may be some unpleasant side effects. Perhaps one of the worst side effects is that too much castor oil may cause you to have diarrhea. The Castor oil acts as a laxative, hence the common diarrhea. Going into the labor and delivery room with uncontrollable diarrhea can not only be embarrassing, but can also be messy and dangerous. If you lose too many fluids too quickly, then you will become dehydrated, and that is not good for anyone in the delivery room. It may be best to discuss this particular labor-inducing activity with your medical professional.
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil (EPO) has been around a long time and many people believe that although it may not help induce labor, it might just help prepare the body for labor. The main thought about EPO is that it will soften the cervix in preparation of delivery and may shorten the length of delivery time. Evening primrose oil is derived from the primrose plant and contains Vitamin E, linolenic acid, and gamma linolenic acid. It is available at most pharmacies and drug stores and comes in capsule form. Evening primrose oil can be taken orally or inserted vaginally. A daily dose of 500-2000 milligrams is recommended; although, starting with the smallest dose is suggested, so you can easily decide how your body will respond to it. You can increase your intake as needed.
Although many pregnant women don’t necessarily try this activity on purpose in order to induce labor, some find that eating spicy foods is the trigger that works for them. Whether you have indulged in Cajun chicken, hot and sour soup, burritos, or stuffed jalapeno peppers, then you may be taken by surprise if labor begins soon thereafter. Perhaps it is the contracting of your stomach muscles, as they respond to the spicy food, that sets off contractions of your uterus, but some say that this is the key to natural inducing of labor. Other suspected foods that may induce labor include; eggplant, black licorice, balsamic vinegar, and chocolate.
In conclusion, as you can see, there are many tricks and activities that you may wish to try as you near the end of your pregnancy and the highly anticipated arrival of your newborn baby. While these ideas may be very popular “among the crowds”, it is best to discuss these issues with your health care provider prior to beginning any of them. Your pregnancy is unique and you and your provider can decide together what, if anything, might work for your situation. Some activities may push you into labor too early, and that is not the desired result. Remember, there are no two pregnancies that are exactly alike, and there are no two moms that are alike, either.
Some women will become anxious towards the end of their pregnancy and may want to try one or more of these labor-inducing techniques; while other women will lay back and decide that “the baby will come when the baby will come”. Neither opinion is right or wrong. It is just that we are all different and handle experiences differently, too.
The main goal is to have your baby delivered successfully and for you, as a new mom, to be in the best environment that you can be in throughout the labor and delivery process. Once your baby is born, then life will quickly become very busy, and you will need to be prepared. There is nothing that can compare to the little newborn that you will soon hold in your arms.