Posted in Pregnancy

Natural Ways to Induce Labor

This is an old post that got stuck in the draft folder, but as I’m pregnant again, this will probably become relevant information. Babies come when they want, and I’m pretty okay with that. I’m not against helping prepare my body for labor, however.

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I really wanted my baby to be born on April 1st. I thought it was one of the coolest birthdays my child could get. Unfortunately, my baby, like most babies, had other plans about their arrival. I tried everything that day, and the days leading up to that day, in order to give my baby a very likely chance of being born on April Fool’s. By 39 weeks pregnant, I was trying all of these things again, eager and anxious to meet my little one. Now, for the methods that are “long term” (in other words, you have to do them consistently for days or weeks in advance) my experience may be different from others because I pretty much stopped doing everything after April 1st and then started things up again at around the 15th of April.

Everyone will tell you that your baby will come when they are ready and that is so true. They will do what they want and when they feel they’re ready they will start your labor. However, some of these things are great for preparing your body for labor, which is always helpful. I’ll share some of the methods I used and didn’t use and how I felt about them.

Things I Did:

  • Evening Primrose Oil — I started taking this orally at 36 weeks and then inserting it vaginally (as well as continuing to take it orally) at 37 weeks. I don’t know if this actually helped me any, but it certainly didn’t hurt. This isn’t meant to actually induce labor, but it should help with softening the cervix.
  • Bouncing on Birthing Ball — I did this both to prepare for labor (as Note never dropped and I attempted to get them to drop; it didn’t work) and try to help move Note from their “sunny side up” position. That didn’t work either, and I will be the first person to say back labor is the worst. Back labor is honestly the game changer for me. I wouldn’t do it again unmediated. Keeping my fingers crossed this one will present the “right” way.
  • Red Raspberry Leaf Tea — I got the Third Trimester Blend by Earth Mama Angel Baby and I loved it! A lot of the reviews said bad things about the taste, but I honestly enjoyed it and looked forward to drinking my tea. I really feel like this helped me have a speedy labor, as the week before I went into labor, my cervix was checked and I was neither dilated or effaced. At 1:30 pm on my due date when I was checked again, I was 4 cm dilated, which I believe happened that day as I woke up in labor, and at 5:55 pm, I was holding my baby in my arms. I went fast, so fast even the midwives were surprised.
  • Walking — I did a lot of walking throughout my entire pregnancy. Towards the end, I increased my walking as I wanted to help Note get into a good position for labor and perhaps even jump start labor. I also made sure to walk around during labor as well.
  • Sex — This was more for fun than anything else, as I knew after baby came it would be a long time before down there was ready for any more action.
  • Nipple Stimulation — I started using the manual breast pump a few days before labor, about every two hours for 10-15 minutes a breast. It was very easy to do while watching a show or something. I never got contractions from it.

Things I Didn’t Do:

  • Pineapple Juice — It’s supposedly supposed to help jump start labor. I don’t like pineapples, so I didn’t try it. It wouldn’t hurt.
  • Castor Oil — This was a big no for me from the beginning, as it can cause a baby to go into distress. Besides that, I was still having morning sickness and didn’t want to throw up anymore. Personally, I would suggest everyone pass on this one.
  • Spicy Food —I hate spicy food, so I skipped this one. I don’t think it would hurt to try if you like spicy food anyway though.
  • Acupuncture — I really wanted to try this, but I couldn’t find a place that did it near me and didn’t want to risk going to some amateur.
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