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A woman is considered full-term during pregnancy at 37 weeks, but a full-term baby can be delivered anytime between 37 to 42 weeks. As you get into those last few weeks of pregnancy it can get really uncomfortable and you may look for some natural ways to induce labor.
If your due date is quickly approaching, or come and gone, you may start thinking of induction. But if it is your first baby your doctor won’t usually induce you unless you are past your due date or it is medically necessary.
If you’ve had one or more babies usually they won’t induce until at least 39 weeks so you can try some of these natural ways to induce labor. Unless it’s for medical reasons, it is better to induce labor naturally if you need to.
Every woman and situation is different, so as always consult your doctor before trying out any of the methods.
Here are some natural ways to induce labor:
Natural Ways To Induce Labor
Walking To Induce Labor
A good power walk helps to put pressure on your cervix causing it to gently thin out and dilate. Walking also makes your uterus contract and by moving your body, you are helping the baby get into the labor position.
Foot Massages To Induce Labor
Certain pressure points in your foot and ankle can be stimulated in order to encourage labor – plus a relaxing massage is always nice!
Pineapple To Induce Labor
This tasty fruit has been known to induce labor by encouraging uterine contractions.
You can even eat the core since it contains the most Bromelain, an important enzyme for stimulating the uterus and softening the cervix. The fruit itself is also good for digestion.
Bonus tip: Pineapple and pineapple juice is great to have around after you give birth too since it can help to prevent clogged milk ducts and mastitis.
Exercise Balls To Induce Labor
Sitting and bouncing gently on the exercise ball like this one, is one way of putting pressure on your cervix. You can also do some hip rolls. Since this position opens up your pelvis, it can help with the labor-inducing process. This exercise also helps with your posture and relieving lower back pain.
Spicy Foods To Induce Labor
Since spicy foods stimulate your intestines, it could cause your uterus to contract and can lead to the start of labor. You also have to be careful when eating spicy foods since they can cause indigestion. Keep an antacid handy if you try this method for naturally inducing labor.
Sex To Induce Labor
You might be thinking can sex induce labor? Good question. And the answer is yes!
Having sex releases oxytocin which helps contractions. Semen also contains prostaglandins which can soften your cervix and induce labor.
After delivery, you have to wait six weeks to have sexual intercourse so get those last few chances in for intimacy before baby makes their big arrival!
Nipple Stimulation To Induce Labor
This action also releases oxytocin that is effective for labor inducing. You can also manually massage the whole breast especially if they are sore or tender.
Some women will even go as far as pumping to induce labor.
Chiropractic/ Acupressure To Induce Labor
Certain pressure points can help in encouraging or stimulating uterine contractions. Specialized acupressurists can strategically use pressure points to naturally induce labor at home.
Chiropractic adjustments can also open the pelvis and can help the baby settle in for labor.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea To Induce Labor
This type of tea can increase uterine contractions and also strengthen your pelvis. Raspberry has also been known to be good for the health of your uterus.
Dates To Induce Labor
Eating dates can help in inducing labor since it can make your body release oxytocin. It also contains calcium that can help with muscle contractions. Dates are natural laxatives as well.
Evening Primrose Oil To Induce Labor
This herb has long been used to induce labor and is even known to shorten labor duration. Because it contains a hormone called prostaglandins, it helps to soften and dilate the cervix. You can either take in capsules or use the oil to massage on your cervix.
Stripping Membranes To Induce Labor
Once you’ve hit 37 weeks your doctor may talk to you about stripping your membranes. When doing your regular vaginal/cervix check at your weekly appointment your doctor can “strip your membranes” or “sweep your membranes” by carefully separating the amniotic sac from your cervix.
I had this done with my first baby and went into labor on my own within a week.
Note: To have your doctor strip your membranes you must already be at least 1 cm dilated and it is a bit uncomfortable.
Relaxation To Induce Labor
Once you’ve tried some of these natural ways to induce labor to try to relax. When you are relaxed and your mind is calm, it can prepare you and make your body ready for your baby.
These are just some ways you can induce naturally but it might not work for everyone. It is good to always talk with your midwife or doctor and see what your best options are.
Which natural ways to induce labor are you going to try?