Have you reached the last weeks of pregnancy or gone past your due date and are wondering when the baby will finally come out? Your body is feeling it all over and it’s also probably starting to take a toll on you mentally. Pregnancy is a beautiful process, with the miracle growing inside you and seeing your body create a home for your baby, but let’s be real, you're done! Those last weeks and days seem long and slow, and you're probably wondering what you can do to help speed things along in a safe, doctor-approved way. Well, here are five ways to safely induce labor naturally!
While this isn't guaranteed to induce labor, it definitely doesn't hurt to do some light exercise as you're nearing the end of your pregnancy. Try bouncing on an exercise ball to help relieve pressure, open up your pelvis, and increase blood flow to the lower half of your body.
Another form of exercise (and one that I have done as well) is curb walking. To curb walk, you simply walk along a raised curb with one foot in the curb and the other on the sidewalk. The alternating, up and down movement, with the pull of gravity, can help your baby drop more into your pelvis.
Yoga and climbing stairs have also helped induce labor in some women. Even if working out doesn't make you start contracting, it is not only good for your health but can help the baby get into a good position for birth!
Remember that women with pregnancy complications (preeclampsia, high blood pressure, a history of premature births, or issues with the placenta) should avoid exercising. If you aren't sure, talk to your doctor.
Being intimate with your partner can help release oxytocin, which can help start uterine contractions. It's also been said that there are hormones in semen that can help the cervix ripen and dilate. Just make sure to communicate openly with your partner during this special time, as you want to be careful to not overdo it physically.
Raspberry Tea Leaf Tea
This is a favorite for many simply because it is yummy! Red raspberry leaves contain high levels of iron, which can help create a healthy hemoglobin production. Hemoglobin transports oxygen throughout your body and to your baby. This is said to help soften your cervix and prepare your body for the big day!
Acupuncture and Acupressure
Acupuncture is an ancient East Asian technique of putting fine needles into specific points in the body, and acupressure is the process of massaging those points to stimulate the body's natural healing abilities. While it isn't totally clear as to why this can work, it is believed that it releases chemicals into the brain, muscles, and spinal cord to promote well being, or balancing your chi.
It can also help reduce stress and change your hormones. In a similar way that intimate time with your partner can help induce labor, acupuncture is believed to help ripen the cervix and stimulate the uterus for labor. Acupressure is also believed to help your brain release oxytocin and induce labor.
Whether this works for you or or not, a nice foot or back massage by a certified therapist can still feel good and help you relax!
Yes, you read that right. Pineapple. Especially eating the core. It contains an enzyme called bromelain. The word is that bromelain in the pineapple makes its way to your cervix and causes the breakdown of tissue there, causing the cervix to soften and stimulating labor.
Enjoying a little tropical treat may be just the push your body needs to get going.
Other ways to help stimulate labor:
- Eating spicy food - Some believe that because spicy food can affect your stomach that it can also impact your cervix and uterus.
- Make an appointment to get your membranes swept - This may release hormones, encouraging labor to begin.
- Eating dates - Dates are said to encourage cervical ripening and dilation.
- Nipple stimulation - The stimulation can cause your uterus to contract.
As you can see, there are quite a few ways to safely help induce labor. Even though most aren't guaranteed to make labor start, you can give them a try. Remember that pregnancy is different for all women, and the things that may have worked for one person may not work for you. Please always talk to your doctor before trying any of these methods. You need to make sure that nothing will be risky for you and baby. It's always better to be cautious!
Also, don't feel pressure or guilt for waiting out. It's only natural for a baby to love the home they've lived in for 9 months. Know that eventually they will make their way into this world and you will be holding your precious baby before you know it!
Let us know if you tried any of these and other methods and if they've worked for you or not!