Ways to Induce Labor on Your Own

by Mark Clair, Childbirth Expert on April 5, 2011

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Like most mothers-to-be, you are probably looking for ways to induce labor on your own. Learning about natural birth giving will help you to avoid the risks of using chemicals and drugs that could be harmful to you and your baby during pregnancy. There is a wide variety of natural ways to induce labor and deliver a healthy baby. Attending a childbirth class gives you the chance to meet other parents and gain experience from parenting stories. You can also acquire some information from fellow mothers who are learning about natural ways to induce labor. Having a thorough understanding about each method will help you to decide which one to use when you have reached the ninth month of your pregnancy.

However, there are important rules to follow when you are considering natural ways to induce labor.

  • You must maintain a good health by eating the right food. Keep a balanced diet and eat plenty of fiber-rich foods like fruits, nuts, vegetables, and lean meat. A diet rich in nutrients and vitamins but low in fats, salt, and sugar can help prevent high blood pressure in pregnancy and lessen leg cramps that arise from mineral deficiencies.
  • Natural ways to induce labor should be started only when the pregnancy has reached its term of 38 weeks to 41 weeks. Only when fetal development is complete, then labor and delivery can proceed safely and smoothly. If you have not yet reached full-term gestation, it is advisable to not try to induce labor because it might harm you and your baby.
  • The natural ways to induce labor must be tried only when you have a normal pregnancy and don’t face any risk of complications. Check with your doctor before trying any of these methods so that he can examine your vital signs and prenatal care to evaluate your condition.

Once you know you are a good candidate for natural inducing techniques, here are some of the ways to stimulate labor and bring about contractions for the uterus:

1. Acupressure
Acupressure is a non-invasive method that uses the fingers to massage and apply gentle to firm pressure on certain points in the body with the use of special techniques. The midwife or your partner can learn the techniques of acupressure so that they can do it for you.

Acupressure is the safest method of inducing labor naturally. There are no risks involved and no adverse side effects. The continuous massage on the pressure points leads to contractions, which induce labor and delivery.

2. Relaxation Techniques
Get a massage, meditate, and visualize. A relaxed mind and body can help labor induction process by relieving the tension in your body. It can also reduce the pain of labor contractions and hasten delivery.

3. Exercise
Labor naturally by exercising. This simple action puts pressure on the cervix, causing it to dilate and pulling the baby down to the pelvis. You may also pedal slowly on a stationary bike if circumstances are not good for walking. Don’t overwork your body though. When your body feels tired, you should stop. Drink lots of fluids to keep your temperature from rising.

4. Sex
Having sex during your ninth month of pregnancy is another method how to induce labor. The orgasm you experience can stimulate the cervix to contract. Also, the male semen contains prostaglandin hormone that helps to ripen the cervix, causing it to efface and open.

5. Food
Certain food such as pineapple and spicy dishes has been credited for helping to induce labor a few hours after eating them. Spicy food can cause diarrhea that makes the intestines contract and by association, contract the uterine muscles too. Spicy food also contains prostaglandin, which softens the cervix and induces natural labor.

6. Nipple Stimulation
The act of rubbing or massaging the nipple with the thumb and index finger can trigger the body to produce oxytocin, the natural body hormone that stimulates contractions of the uterus. This should be done with caution since too much nipple stimulation can cause very strong contractions. Doctors advise to rub or massage one nipple at a time for 2 minutes and stop for 3 minutes. Then repeat the action 4 times until you have done it for 20 minutes.

7. Castor Oil
Inducing labor naturally with castor oil helps to stimulate natural labor contractions. Castor oil acts as a laxative and causes diarrhea. The resulting cramps in the bowel extend to the uterus, causing it to contract and help the baby to move toward the cervix. Castor oil as a labor inducer is taken in a dosage of 2 to 4 tablespoons, preferably with juice or milk. It has an acrid taste and very strong odor that can make you feel nauseous and even provoke vomiting. More than half of the women who take it successfully induced labor within 24 hours after ingestion.

However, castor oil has its downsides. Some say taking this substance increases the chance of the baby to pass meconium in uterus and exposes him/her to the danger of meconium aspiration. This can be potentially harmful to the baby.

Once you know the natural ways to induce labor on your own, you don’t need medical methods like pitocin that can harm you. You also potentially avoid having a c-section when the baby is eased down into the cervix with the help of natural birthing.

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