As you reach the end of the third trimester of your pregnancy most of you will probably be very eager for your pregnancy to be over, and would probably be interested in finding out what natural methods there are to induce your labor.
One thing which you need to keep in mind is that these methods should only really be used if you are past your due date. Your baby will come when your baby is ready, and when your body is ready. Always consult your healthcare provider before trying any of these methods.
Relax – It will come
One thing is for sure, labor will not start if you are stressed and tense all the time. Take some time out to relax and de-stress yourself. Good ways to do this include:
- Take a warm – not hot – candlelit bath with some soothing bath lotion or bath salts
- Get a professional massage – focusing on the key areas
- Aromatheraoy usually helps to relax some women as well
- Get your partner to give you a good old foot massage
Same as what got it there
It’s true – the same method which got baby in there in the first place is often the best way to get him/her to come out. Sex.
Semen has natural prostaglandins, which is a hormone involved in the start of labor. If you do use this method, then as with conception, don’t get up right away, keep your hips elevated if you can. This will help keep the semen near your cervix which will help to thin the cervix and bring on contractions.
Not in the mood?
Of course your sex drive may be leaving you feeling like the last thing you want is to make love with your partner. There are other activities which you can do which could also help induce labor.
Getting your partner to stimulate your nipples or simply heating up a towel so that it is warm and placing it over your breasts can promote the release of oxytocin. However, this is not something you should over do. Try it for about 20 minutes and if there are no early signs of labor, stop and try another day.
Stripping the membranes
This is carried out by your healthcare provider, and generally is where he/she will separate your bag of water from the cervix. It is not intended to break your water although it may end up doing just that. It may also cause infection and may be painful for some.
Stripping the membranes is supposed to stimulate production of prostiglandins in the cervix and bring on contractions.
Walk the baby out
In most cases walking is a good way to get labor started. It seems that being upright places more pressure on the cervix which could possibly lead to it starting to dilate.
If you are going to be walking, make sure that you drink lots of fluid and don’t wander too far from home without your mobile. The last thing you want is to be 3 miles from home and starting labor without any way to communicate with family members!
The ups and downs of Castor Oil
You may have heard that castor oil or evening primrose oil can be used to begin labor. This is true but if you do choose to proceed with this as an option, then you should be aware of the complications as well:
- Castor oil is essentially a strong laxative. While bowel spasms may cause contractions, they may also do nothing more than, well, stimulate the bowel of both you and baby.
- The common application of evening primrose oil is directly on the cervix and not on your belly. Since pregnancy can cause adverse reactions to the most common things applying primrose internally onto your cervix may not be the best choice.
If you are going to be trying herbal remedies to induce labor, be sure to discuss all your options with your healthcare provider beforehand.