For many women, as soon as they reach their due date, the pressure to go into labor begins. Perhaps your doctor is talking about inducing labor with pitocin, or maybe you’re simply anxious to give birth and be finished with pregnancy. In either case, it is generally possible to avoid medical intervention and induce labor naturally. If your doctor is recommending pitocin for labor induction, ask instead about taking a few days to try natural labor induction rather than inducing labor immediately. Most doctors will agree to let you try to go into labor naturally unless there is an emergency. Here are tried and true methods for natural labor induction:
Inducing Labor With Nipple Stimulation
Nipple stimulation is one of the easiest, most reliable ways to induce labor. Nipple stimulation releases oxytocin, a hormone that is the natural form of pitocin. You’ll need to stimulate your nipples several times a day, but this method can truly work wonders for inducing labor. Massaging one breast at a time, massage the aereola in a circular motion that mimics the motions of a nursing baby. Massage until a contraction begins then stop. Wait fifteen minutes and then do the same with the other nipple.
Inducing Labor With Food
The data on whether foods can induce labor is inconclusive, but many women still swear that certain foods can induce labor. It’s worth a try, especially in conjunction with some other methods for inducing labor. Try eating eggplant, pineapple, licorice, spicy foods, and chinese food.
Inducing Labor With Sex
The data on whether sex really can induce labor is not conclusive. However, sex definitely helps the cervix to “ripen” and prepare for labor. It contains prostaglandins, which can help the cervix to soften. Many couples even have sex in the beginning stages of labor in the hope that it will make labor go more smoothly and be less painful.
Inducing Labor With Exercise
Many old wives tales have claimed that cleaning the house induces labor because it triggers a nesting instinct. While the nesting instinct claim is bunk, cleaning really does help, but for a different reason: it provides exercise, particularly bending and lifting, which helps to release tension. Muscle tension can both stall labor and make labor more painful, so if you’re attempting to naturally induce labor, get your body moving in whatever way is comfortable for you.
Natural Induction of Labor with Acupressure
Many women have had great success inducing labor with acupressure. Consider going to an acupressurist if you’ve passed your due date. However, many of the pressure points used to induce labor are simple to reach, so if you’d like to try acupressure at home, check out this site for a guide.
Swing Into Labor
For labor to begin, your cervix has to be aligned properly, and an excellent way to do this is to get your pelvis moving into the right position for labor. Oddly enough, swinging on a swing or park bench can achieve just this.
Inducing labor naturally can be fun and effective. Try swinging with your partner, walking through the park, and having sex. A day spent leisurely moving about can be the perfect recipe for natural labor induction!