*The following information is not medical advice, and you should always check with your provider before trying any of the following.
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Getting close to your due date? Maybe your due date has come and gone. Take a deep breath mama! Waiting patiently for your little one especially when you are tired or uncomfortable can be tough! Maybe you are trying to avoid a medical induction. Whatever your reason there are some methods and tips to naturally bring on labor! It is important to note that these methods wont work unless baby is ready!
Here are just a few of the various methods!
Sex! Having sexual intercourse close to your due date can help augment labor!
Semen contains prostaglandins — lipid compounds that produce hormone-like effects. In fact, Scientists say that of all the prostaglandin-containing substances produced by the body, semen contains the most concentrated form. During sexual intercourse, when ejaculate enters the vagina, these prostagladins are deposited near the cervix and can help ripen (soften) it to prepare for dilation and may even cause the uterus to contract.
Beyond that, the uterine contractions produced by the female orgasm may also bring about labor. Again, you may notice tightenings in your lower abdomen after sex. These may just be Braxton-Hicks, but if they get enough strength and rhythm, they may end up being the real thing.
Oxytocin is the hormone released during orgasm. It’s also called the “love hormone” because it plays a role in romantic relationships, sex, reproduction, and even bonding between caregivers and infants. What you may find interesting is that oxytocin is the natural form of Pitocin . Sound familiar? Yup — Pitocin is the synthetic hormone you may receive in a drip if you have a formal induction at a hospital.
But is sex safe during pregnancy? The short answer is yes, provided you don’t have ruptured bags of water or certain complications, like placenta previa, incompetent cervix, or preterm labor, where your doctor or midwife has placed you on “pelvic rest.
Exercise! Your movement encourages baby's movement!
I love this exercise routine for 3rd trimester!
You can also use a birth ball to encourage movement! Some women like to eliminate bouncing on the birth ball so baby doesn't get pushed into a bad position, but rather they use the ball to open the pelvis and encourage baby to move into an optimal position. This video is still a good example of some different movements, but I would skip bouncing.
Acupressure! Applying pressure to certain areas may help encourage labor!
The spleen 6 point (SP6) is considered one of the more versatile and commonly used points. It’s used for many conditions, including labor induction.
Known as Sanyinjiao — or three yin intersection — SP6 is located above the ankle, on the backside of the shinbone (lower calf). It’s about the distance of four finger widths above the inner ankle bone.
What to do: Use your index finger to apply firm pressure on the point for a few seconds. Take a 1-minute break before repeating.
The most common point in acupressure therapy, the large intestine 4 point (LI4) is known as Hegu, meaning “joining valley.”
It’s located on the back of the hand, deep between the webbing of your thumb and pointer finger. Like BL67, the LI4 point is believed to induce labor. It may also stop pain and strengthen immunity, among other problem-relieving functions.
What to do: Apply soft pressure with your thumb and massage the point for one minute, take a 1-minute break and start again.
Rubbing or rolling your nipples helps the body release oxytocin. Oxytocin plays a role in arousal, initiating labor, and bonding between mother and child.
Stimulating the breasts may also help bring on full labor by making contractions stronger and longer.
You can stimulate your own nipples with your hands, a breast pump, your partner, or a nursling. Focus on the areola ;the areola is the dark circle that surrounds your actual nipple. When babies nurse, they massage the areola, not just the nipple itself. Use your fingers or palm to gently rub your areola through thin clothing or directly on the skin.
It is possible to get too much of a good thing. Follow these guidelines to prevent overstimulation:
Focus on one breast at a time.
Limit stimulation to just five minutes, and wait another 15 before trying again.
Take a break from nipple stimulation during contractions.
Stop nipple stimulation when contractions are three minutes apart or less, and one minute in length or longer.
You can try 1 of these methods at a time or in conjunction, just always make sure you consult your provider first! These methods will not make you go into labor unless you and baby are ready. Make sure you are preparing your body for labor with LOTS of rest, hydration, time to de-stress and proper nutrition.