Let’s talk about going into labor! Are you looking for natural ways to induce labor, or how to induce labor yourself? For almost ALL pregnant women, the last few weeks leading up to delivery can be agonizing.
You can’t sleep, you’ve got a baby kicking you in the ribs, your feet are swollen, and you feel like a huge cow (you’re not by the way!)
I have patients come into triage ALL THE TIME begging to be induced so they can get this over with already, and meet their babies. Ladies, I hear you. I know it stinks being 40+ weeks pregnant.
OH HEY!! I see you are interested in labor induction..before you read my super awesome article, CHECK THIS OUT! Hillary from Pulling Curls is a fellow labor and delivery nurse, and she created a fantastic ONLINE PRENATAL COURSE. That’s right, she goes over EVERYTHING (including inductions), and you don’t have to even have to leave your couch! You get all the benefits of a traditional in-class style course, but you get to enjoy it from the comfort of your own home. There’s even a Beginning Prenatal Class you can try FREE first if you’re not prepared to buy anything right now. Pretty brilliant if you ask me! 🙂
The reality is, letting your body go into labor spontaneously versus electively being induced is associated with less maternal complications. Take a look at this study. While neonatal outcomes were shown to be unaffected, the c-section rates, labor interventions, and lengths of hospital stay for mom were all significantly higher for mamas who were electively induced using medical techniques.
I have been there. Two days past my due date, and so ready to be DONE! I had been trying for a good two weeks to get myself to go into labor, but frustrated as I seemingly was unsuccessful.
I’m going to break it down for you. The truth is, there are a TON of things out there you can do PREP your body for going into labor.
I’m sure you’ve heard, “I ate Chinese food” or “I went on bumpy car ride and then went into labor a few hours later”. That’s all fine and dandy, but the reality is, you can’t do much to put yourself into labor if your body isn’t physically ready to go into labor yet.
In fact, doctors don’t know exactly what triggers a woman to go into labor. There have been countless studies on the subject, and many theories circulating, but it hasn’t been figured out definitively yet.
With that said, I’ll share with you the routine that I believe was successful in helping to trigger my body to go into labor. I did all of these things IN ONE DAY, and I believe the bombardment I gave my body was enough to throw me into full blown labor the next morning.
Confused as to whether those are labor contractions or Braxton Hicks? Check out this post.
Additional disclosure: Do not try any of these activities as an attempt to put yourself in labor until you are term (AKA 37 weeks pregnant). Please see my disclaimer below for more info.
Okay, so this one was actually not all done in one day, but it’s definitely worth sharing, because I truly think it played a part.
Evening primrose oil is an herbal supplement that is thought to help not only induce labor, but to shorten labor duration. There is no standard dosage out there, and you will find multiple sources on how much to take. It can be taken orally, or inserted vaginally before bed. I did both. Beginning at 37 weeks, I took 4000mg a day orally (4 pills spaced throughout the day), and inserted 1000mg vaginally before I went to bed.
Okay, let’s get to the good parts, here’s my routine!
I STARTED OFF MY MORNING WITH A REALLY LONG WALK
I went to the mall and walked around for about 2 hours. (It was the middle of February, or else I would have been outside!) And, I’m not saying I casually went in and out of stores, taking my time here and there…no, I was getting a little workout! As you walk, baby is gently bouncing up and down on your cervix. So, strolling is a no-no, you gotta be power walking!
THEN I WENT TO SEE A REFLEXOLOGIST
Y’all, even if you are not pregnant, I recommend doing this. It’s basically just a massage just for your feet. I’ve heard pedicures can do the trick too, but if you’ve got ’em painted already, GO FOR THE REFLEXOLOGY. It was glorious after walking around for 2 hours. Seriously, maybe the best sixty bucks I’ve ever spent (second only to my freemies of course, read more about them HERE!)
THEN I ATE A WHOLE PINEAPPLE (CORE INCLUDED)
Well, almost a whole pineapple. It’s very hard eating an entire pineapple at 9 months pregnant. The important factor in this is that I also ate the core.
That is where the Bromelain lies. Bromelain is a chemical that is thought to soften your cervix and cause uterine cramping when you are pregnant.
THEN I SAT ON MY YOGA BALL FOR HOURS
Bouncing up and down on a yoga ball is thought to be the same theory on why walking is beneficial in changing your cervix.
Baby is bouncing up and down, putting the needed pressure on your cervix for it to soften and dilate. Sitting on a yoga ball is also GREAT for getting baby in a good birthing position. It feels good on your lower back, and also helps your posture!
THEN I ATE SOME EXTRA SPICY JALAPENO PEPPERS
They were tear jerking, sweat inducing poppers, guys. I’m not talking the frozen kind you buy from Food Lion. Spicy food is thought to help put you into labor primarily because it really gets your GI tract moving. And guess what’s right next to your GI tract…your uterus!
THEN I HAD SEX
(SORRY MOM AND DAD) Sexual intercourse is thought to induce labor in a few different ways. First off, sex (with or without orgasm) increases uterine activity. Second, semen is a natural source of prostaglandins, which are hormone-like substances responsible for helping to change your cervix during labor. Lastly, nipple stimulation releases oxytocin, the chemical responsible for causing uterine contractions during labor.
Then I went to *sleep* (aka I rested my eyes for a few hours), and woke up at 7:30 AM in full blown labor! Success! Tell me in the comments if you’ve tried any of these techniques, and if they’ve worked!
Founder, Labor Teen