Bring on Labor - Natural Ways to Induce Labor at Home
Mamas, you are tired and DONE with being pregnant. YOU.ARE.HEARD. While baking your baby as long as possible is advised, if you are at 40 weeks and just plain done, there's no harm in trying to coax that baby out! You know that I teach natural childbirth classes, and that I’ve had five wonderful births. You also know that I am about to tell you all the reasons not to induce – why you should let baby come when ready. But I will not lie to you. I have SO MANY clients approach 39-40 weeks begging me for ways to help get the baby out sooner than later. I sympathize and try to gently remind them that the end is near, pregnancy is not forever. There are those, though, who are staring at a medical induction at a certain date, or those about to risk out of their choice birth place due to going past a certain date on the calendar. To those clients, I start guiding them into all the ways to naturally bring baby earthside. The biggest problem is that a baby WILL NOT COME if he is not ready. Induction will lead to c-section if your baby is not ready to be born. So please try to hold out and wait on baby. *BUT if you are in a position of 40+ weeks, and you are begging for ways to help get labor started before a doctor does, then read on. What is developing and changing within baby at 39 weeks gestation:
- Advanced muscle development: Aiding with the suck swallow motion of nursing
- Body temperature control
- Further brain development
- Higher body fat
- Advanced body system development: lung development, digestive system, nervous system, etc
Natural Labor Induction MethodsSex: Sex is a commonly suggested method of natural induction due to semen containing prostaglandins, which help to ripen the cervix. Consider a relaxing bath first; making sure the body is not tensed. Please note, that sex is safe throughout the entire pregnancy and is not linked to premature rupture of membranes or early labor. Chiropractor: Not only can chiropractic care ease symptoms during pregnancy, there is research that show it can ease delivery time and pain as well. Research found that women who receive chiropractic care during pregnancy have approximately 6 fewer hours of labor than women who did not receive care. Chiropractors who specialize in pregnancy (Webster Technique) can not only ease pain, but they can manipulate baby’s position, turning him into the best place to begin labor. Nipple Stimulation: Stimulating the nipples (including your areola, as a baby would when sucking) triggers the production of natural oxytocin. Oxytocin contracts the uterus. Massage the first nipple for 5 minutes (when there are no contractions), then wait to see what happens (around 15 mins or so) before doing more. It’s a good idea to take your mind off things by getting on with your usual duties than sitting and waiting for something to happen – so try and keep busy! Once labor is well established again, stop the stimulation. Acupuncture: Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to induce women who are post dates in their pregnancy. Most of the time one treatment is all that is needed to get the process going. Sometimes a second treatment may be needed. Through continual research, it’s been found that induction using acupuncture generally works within 6-48 hours of having your treatment. Acupressure/Trigger Points: You can find a wonderful reference of acupressure for pregnancy and birth here
- The first area on the body used for stimulating labor is located between the thumb and index finger. This point is actually the “webbing” between these two areas. Techniques vary, but this pressure point can be pressed and rubbed for several seconds or simply pressed firmly for approximately one minute and then released. This technique can also be used during active labor to relieve pain.
- The next area of the body used for stimulating labor is the ankle. This area actually has two different pressure points. The first pressure point is located on the outside of the ankle, just behind where the bony prominence is. Just like the first mentioned location, techniques vary but the pressure point can be rubbed or pressed for several seconds or one minute. The other ankle pressure point is inside the leg, above the ankle. This area may be difficult to find but it is more sensitive to touch than the rest of the leg.
- Another area is located on the back, above the buttocks and lower back. This area can also be pressed or massaged as tolerated.