Otherwise please know that I am NOT advising anyone to use these, nor do I believe any of these to guarantee success.
I have gotten a few emails from ladies asking what I have tried for starting labor, so I thought I'd type it out for everyone whether you like it or not. Also I love talking childbirth, love it a lot, definitely love it too much.
Since my pregnancy with Naomi, I have been all about trying to find any and all methods of naturally inducing labor. I have gone ahead and compiled a list from talking to good friends, taking a Bradley birthing class, googling the crap out of the subject, and tricks my fabulous doula with Lucy gave me.
I am not a professional and I am not giving professional advice, I'm just making a list of things that I have had success with.
|I finally wised up with Lucy and took zero pictures while this pregnant.|
I have only used these when I am greatly pregnant, meaning at least 34 weeks for some of the methods and no earlier than 36 to 37 weeks for most. Some have more to do with ripening the cervix, some have more to do with getting the baby's head in a good position, and others have to do with getting contractions to pick up.
So here you go, natural induction methods for the greatly pregnant mother who is ready to not be pregnant anymore.
1. Evening primrose oil: I utilized THIS for instructions on how to use it. I started at 34 weeks and only ever took them orally, though you can do more than that. Just read the link provided.
2. Very deep squats: every single time I picked up a toy or anything off the ground from 36 weeks on I would squat allllllll the way to the ground with my bottom almost touching the floor. We learned in our Bradley class that this helps the baby's head to descend.
3. Crawling around: this is also to help the baby to turn to an anterior position, which is what you definitely want. So any time I cleaned the playroom or the kitchen floor I would crawl around to do it.
4. Booty shake: Not sure if this is the technical name for it, but I also don't care. When I was pregnant with Naomi, my midwife recommend that I do this. You just lean on a counter top, or the back of your couch, or get on your knees and lean on your coffee table and shake your booty from side to side. Turn on music to really spice things up. This is also to help with good head position.
|Because you really needed a visual|
5. Walking: duh. It sure made my contractions go crazy all through pregnancy, with all 3 girls, AND it also helps you to not go crazy from sitting in the house all day waiting for the baby to slide out.
6. Running: same thing.
7. Swimming: I swam a whole lot when I was pregnant with Naomi- I read a lot of stuff that said it helps with the baby's head position. I also stood on my head in the pool a lot when pregnant with Bernadette to try to flip her- this did not work, but I am pretty sure that I looked really cool.
8. Sex: I will not say too much on this except that I am pretty sure that the only way it is really effective is if you, um, "up the dose." As in, if you normally "take Tylenol" once or twice per week, you would want to start to "take Tylenol" every day. Or even "take Tylenol" multiple times in a day. Why am I talking about "taking Tylenol"? This makes me so uncomfortable. (But seriously, mucho effective.)
9. Inversion: this is a exercise meant to help with the baby's head position. I think it may be what really helped get Lucy out- that and the caster oil. The link to read about it is right HERE and I would always follow it up with a ton of #2 and #3.
10. "Nip stim" (what, it's a legit abbrev.): can be done along with #8 or with a breast pump. Enough said. I feel so uncomfortable.
11. Pressure points: we learned some of these in our Bradley class, and you can do them at home to help contractions pick up. Read HERE about them. Or watch this.
12. Acupressure: similar to #11, but with other people doing it, using tiny needles, instead of you doing it yourself. I tried this with Lucy when I was at 37 weeks, but the place I went was weird, and although the weirdos there said it often worked for other women, it didn't end up working for me. Well, not enough anyway- it did make my contractions pick up, resulting in a trip to the hospital for a false alarm and mucho embarrassment.
13. Caster oil: **There are conflicting opinion over the use of caster oil, READ MORE ABOUT THAT HERE.
So with this past pregnancy, after doing allllll of the above for weeks and being a full 4 cm dilated from week 36 to week 38 I pretty much felt like Lucy's head was hanging out of me. I was barely able to waddle from one room to another without being sure labor was starting, and there were WAAAY too many false alarms. I woke up on the morning of October 14th completely fed up and unbelievably desperate. I immediately googled "caster oil to induce labor" and that search brought me HERE. I found that link very helpful and after Mass that day I stopped off at the local Walgreens for a bottle. I drank the max dosage and was in the bathroom for the max amount of the day. It was rough, I mean really rough (and I probably would never actually do it again), but it worked. Within six hours, my contractions had gotten very strong, and later that night (about 12 hours after taking it maybe?), after the contractions finally gotten *really* serious, my water broke, and then Lucy came a few hours later. **An important thing to note is that you have to already be somewhat dilated for this to be most effective, I felt pretty sure it would work since I was already 4 cm- so there is that.
I have definitely found that using them all and using them a whole lot--like all day, every day--is the most effective way in order for them to work. Which is why they are really for the super desperate. Which I always am.
Maybe you have tried them all and they haven't worked- they are definitely not guaranteed. Or maybe you would just never go to these lengths to have your baby, that's fine too.
They may not make you go early, but simply help you not to go super late. Or if you are the type of person you never goes into labor naturally and is always induced, they may just help you to go naturally, even if it is past your due date.
I think this is sufficiently lengthy (and awkward), especially since it is written by someone with no real medical knowledge whatsoever. I'll be done.