Friday, July 27, 2012

Ways to Induce Labor Naturally????

Here I am, 39 weeks and almost 4 days pregnant.  I have gone further with this pregnancy than I have had with my previous pregnancy (my water broke at 39 weeks and 1 day).  While there are things that I will miss about being pregnant, I am excited to meet the baby.  I'm curious if the baby will look like me or dad, if there will be a lot of hair, if this will be a big baby, etc.  Many things to look forward to.  I feel like I am in a "holding pattern" since labor can literally happen at any moment.  Planning things in the short-term is very difficult since we have no idea when the little one will make their grand entrance. While I am not "desperate," I have been seeing things on the Internet regarding "natural" ways to induce labor.  I had to get pitocin the last time to induce labor because my water broke and I had no contractions.  I am hoping to go into labor naturally this time so I may just start exploring some of these "natural" ways to induce labor.
  1. Walking
    • Gravity and hip swaying may help the baby to naturally drop down into the pelvic area.  
    • The pressure of the baby dropping can help labor progress by priming the cervix.
  2. Sex
    • Sperm contains prostaglandins which help to ripen the cervix by thinning and dilating it. 
    • Oxytocin is released during sex which may help to trigger contractions.
  3. Evening Primrose Oil (EPO)
    • This should probably only be done under a doctor's supervision.  
    • This is an herb which can help to thin and dilate the cervix.
    • The capsules can be taken orally, the oil may be rubbed directly on the cervix or the capsules can be inserted vaginally.
  4. Castor Oil
    • Another thing that should be taken only under a doctor's supervision.
    • It is a vegetable oil that is typically used as a laxative. 
    • It causes intestinal spasms by stimulating the bowels.  Bowel stimulation can then irritate the uterus to cause it to contract.
    • Works only if you're already showing signs of labor.  Taking it without the signs of labor may just give you a bad case of diarrhea.
  5. Spicy Food
    • Another intestinal irritant which may cause your uterus to contract.
    • May cause or worsen heartburn.
  6. Acupuncture
    • Inserting needles into specific pressure points may stimulate uterine activity.
  7. Acupressure
    • Applying pressure to specific points on the body may stimulate uterine activity.
      • Applying pressure to the webbing between the thumb and index finger
      • Applying pressure to the inside of your leg about four finger-widths above the ankle bone.
  8. Nipple Stimulation
    • Massaging and twisting for a few hours a day may release oxytocin which can bring on contractions.
    • Should be done under a practitioner's care.
    • May cause long, painful contractions that can lower the heart rate of the baby.
  9. Massage
    • Massage can raise oxytocin levels which may bring on contractions. 
    • Meditation can also help to relax you and raise oxytocin levels.  This is why the majority of labor happen late at night when relaxed in bed. 
  10. Pineapples
    • Contains the enzyme bromelain which may help soften the cervix.
    • It can also aid in digestion by stimulating the bowels which can stimulate contractions.
  11. Teas
    • Should only be done under the care of a practitioner.
    • Teas containing black and blue cohosh, raspberry leaf, cumin, or evening primrose oil may help to stimulate labor.
  12. Visualization
    • Visualizing your cervix opening may actually cause your cervix to open.

Finally, for some comic relief, someone posted this video on one of the message boards that I frequent.  It pretty much sums up the things that have been said to me and how I am feeling about those things.  If only I had a crystal ball then I can tell you when "the baby is coming..."

Has anyone tried any of the "natural" methods mentioned above?  If so, what was the result? 

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