What is Inducing Labor?
As you near the end of your pregnancy, you are probably very eager for your baby to make an entrance into the world. By now you are constantly tired from lugging your pregnancy weight around and all you want is for this baby to come out. If your due date has come and gone, then you will definitely be feeling frustrated and uncomfortable. Keep in mind that your due date only serves as a guideline and may be inaccurate.
Try to be patient because at the end of the day it is your baby who decides when it is ready to arrive and when your body is ready to give birth. However, there are a few simple but safe ways that can be helpful to induce labor and giving nature a nudge. These methods should only be used if you are past your due date and it is very important to consult with your obstetrician, midwife or doula when trying them.
Help for Inducing Labor
There is a lot that can be done naturally to induce labor in a healthy, safe way. For centuries herbal remedies and essential aromatherapy oils have been used to prepare the mother safely for birth and assist with the birth process. These herbs and essential oils help with natural pain relief and also promote a strong, positive and calm state of mind.
Essential therapeutic aromatherapy oils of Clary Sage, Lavender and Jasmine can be massaged gently on the abdomen or lower back area during labor to soothe and relax the mother, relieve labor pain and promote healthy contractions.
Herbal ingredients such as Squaw Vine (Mitchella repens), Raspberry leaves (Rubus idaeus), Passiflora incarnata (Passion Flower) and Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice) helps to prepare and tone the uterus for birth, as well as calm the mother-to-be, resulting in a shorter and safer birth.
In addition, Stachys officinalis (Wood betony), Blue Cohosh (Papoose Root or Squaw Root), Verbena officinalis (Vervain or Wild Hyssop), Pulsatilla vulgaris (Pasque Flower) and Raspberry leaves (Rubus idaeus) helps to facilitate strong and productive uterine contractions as well as a shorter labor.
More Information on Inducing Labor
Natural ways to induce labor
Although there are many suggested to induce labor naturally, there is no scientific evidence to prove the safety or effectiveness of these methods. However, many women have followed certain methods and these include:
- Learn to relax by practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or visualization – if you are stressed or worried, it is very difficult to induce labor
- Eat spicy foods such as curry as it is thought to stimulate the gut and bowel and thus stimulate the uterus to induce labor
- Have sex as it may help to trigger the release of the "contraction hormone", oxytocin, also movement may trigger contractions and semen softens the cervix for when labor starts
- Stimulating your nipples by gently rubbing or rolling the nipple can also help to produce contractions
- Eat tropical fruits such as pineapple, kiwi fruit or mango as they contain an enzyme that promotes mild contractions
- Drink raspberry leaf tea as it is an excellent toner for the cervix and a wonderful tonic for the reproductive system
- Go for a walk but try not to overexert yourself – the movement will help your baby to find a suitable birthing position and by being in an upright position encourages the baby’s head to put pressure on the cervix and stimulate contractions
- Acupressure can induce labor naturally by helping the cervix to dilate, stimulate contractions and help the baby to drop
- Sit or rock on a birthing ball to induce labor as it helps the baby’s head to engage and get the baby into an appropriate birthing position. This particular method may also be quite soothing for your back and pelvis during the final stages of labor.
- Soak in a relaxing bath using essential oils such as jasmine, clary sage and marjoram to the water will help to relax you, release tension and encourage contractions
- A labor massage from your spouse, labor partner, midwife or massage therapist can also start labor as it slows down the production of stress hormones which helps to relax the body and stimulate contractions.
- Be good to yourself during the days before your due date or if you are past your due date by having a manicure, foot massage or watching a movie with your partner