Not much compares to the anxiety and frustration that comes with an overdue bun in the oven. Counting the days…. oh who are we kidding?!?… the minutes! Wondering when this baby will show up.
And if you’ve planned for a natural, unmedicated birth, it can be even more nerve racking.
For those mamas out there who want to explore the possibility of encouraging labor naturally, here are some options….
(Please be sure to check with your primary care provider for questions and concerns regarding any of these options)
1. Sex: There’s no surprise that this is numero uno. Sex is probably one of the most effective ways to kick labor into gear for 3 reasons; 1) An orgasm causes the uterus to contract, which can help any irregular contractions progress to a stronger more regular state. 2) The enzyme in semen called prostaglandins helps to soften and ripen the cervix. 3) Oxytocin is the hormone that stimulates labor when the baby is ready. It is also the hormone that is released when we hug and love on our partner.
2. Nipple Stimulation: I personally can speak to this one. When nipples are stimulated, the hormone oxytocin is released which is what brings on contractions.
3. Massage: Nothing eases a nervous mind when the body is able to relax and unwind. By relaxing, you become more receptive and able to let go. A trained perinatal specialist can also stimulate acupressure points that can effect the uterus and move labor progress along.
4. Acupuncture: This is a wonderful way to encourage the labor process and to enjoy the dreamy effects of this treatment. Acupuncture has a wonderful way of thoroughly relaxing a busy mind while stimulating specific points that encourage the body to open up. And if you’re scared of the needles… don’t be. A trained professional will be flawless when inserting the needles.
5. Walking & Stairs: Taking long walks and/or climbing stairs can help gravity to draw the baby down into your pelvis. The pressure of the baby on your pelvis can then prime your cervix for labor — or may help labor progress if you’ve already felt some contractions. Just be sure not to overdo it and tire yourself out before the big day.
6. Dancing: Any movement that encourages gravity to take over is helpful. Especially when the pelvis is put to motion! Be sure not to go overboard, but moving around with fluidity and to a beat just might do the trick! Check out some of these videos to see how these mamas danced their way into labor.
7. No Stress: I know… I know… Easier said than done. But when you are stressed out, your body releases a hormone called cortisol which will cancel out any stimulation of oxytocin. So do your best to slow down, remember to breathe and enjoy the rest of this time until your sweet baby is here.
Please note: These remedies need to be used in moderation and as directed by your health care provider. They will only work when your baby is ready. So until that baby gives your body the green light, stay rested and healthy.
For more information on how to find balance and support throughout your pregnancy, send me an email at frances [at] francesmasterson [dot] com.
Disclaimer: The information on this site is for general informational purposes only. I am not a medical professional, nor do I give medical advice. These articles are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any conditions, but to educate and broaden the perspective as it pertains to holistic health and wellness. Please practice your own due diligence and research all techniques when applying these methods for personal use. Always speak with your Doctor, OB, Midwife, or Nurse Practitioner in regards to complimentary self-care