As you’re approaching your due date, you’re becoming more and more anxious to meet your little one. Your back is aching, your feet are sore, you can’t sleep comfortably, and most of all you’re so excited to finally see the sweet little face you’ve been dreaming about in person. Babies come when they are ready, but if you are planning on having a hospital birth and your doctor is not allowing you to go too far past your due date, you may want to do a few things to try to get your body ready and get labor going by the time you reach full term (39-40 weeks).
Use gravity to your advantage. Get up and start moving! Physical activity helps move your baby’s head down lower in your pelvis and that allows your baby’s head to put pressure on your cervix which helps it dilate. Try walking for 30 minutes every day. If you can walk up a steep hill, even better! This causes you to lean forward at an angle helping baby move in the right direction. Walking stairs and doing squats have also been said to be very helpful. So go ahead and get that heart pumping!
Labor Inducing Foods
It’s been said that pineapples may help ripen the cervix since it contains an enzyme called bromelain which can do just that. Other foods that may induce labor include spicy foods and foods that contain basil, oregano, and/or ginger. Spicier foods tend to work the best out of them all since it stimulates your colon. If you didn’t know, a sign of going into labor is diarrhea so when your intestines are stimulated/irritated it causes you to have bowel movements, which that cramping in your intestines can spread to your uterus which then can cause you to have contractions and go into labor.
Raspberry Leaf Tea
Drinking this tea regularly can strengthen and tone your uterus and help those muscles in your uterus start to contract. You can get this tea at pretty much any grocery store. Birds & Bees Teas, their Ripe & Ready is great! You can prepare it hot or make it an iced tea. That way you can enjoy it during the summer too. It’s also great to drink after you have your baby, again, since it’s strengthening your uterus.
Labor Induction Massages
Getting a labor induction massage is a great way to get contractions going. This massage doesn’t always work immediately and may require two or three appointments to help stimulate labor. It allows you to relax your muscles around baby and it sends signals to your body to start the labor process.
Soaking in a warm bath may help to get labor going. Soaking in the tub helps to relax you. There is evidence that stress and being uptight may keep you from going into labor. This is why massages are also beneficial. Almost anything that gets your mind off of the fact that you are still pregnant that can get you to relax can help.
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil (EPO) can also be used to help soften the cervix. EPO contains a chemical that the body convert it to prostaglandins. To use EPO, you can break the EPO capsule and rub the oil on your cervix at nighttime, or you can insert the capsules vaginally before you go to bed. The moist environment of the vagina will melt the capsule and disperse the gel throughout the cervix. Be sure to wear a pad or have something under you while you sleep since it can leak. Another option is taking it orally.
Acupuncture & Acupressure
Acupuncture and acupressure is another natural method for inducing labor. With acupuncture, a practitioner places fine needles at various points along the body to balance your energy flow. Acupressure is the same concept, but instead fingers are used to apply pressure to pressure points. These are also pressed during labor induction massages. A couple of pressure points are thought to cause contractions. One is located in the webbing between your thumb and forefinger. The other is located just above your ankle. Applying pressure to either of these two pressure points may help bring on contractions.