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The end of a pregnancy can sometimes feel like it drags on forever. You’re bloated, tired, achy and you just want to meet that little person who has been kicking you for nine months. Luckily, there are many natural methods to induce labor that can help speed things along.
Although none of these methods are medically proven to kick start your labor, they are all safe and harmless. Whether they’re old wives tales or they prove to be effective, why not give them a go?
Take a Walk
The most simple way to induce labor naturally is to go for a walk. Taking a relaxing walk around your neighborhood or even walking around the house can help the baby’s head to drop against your cervix, thus releasing oxytocin, a hormone which helps induce labor.
Walking every day in the weeks leading up to your due date is not only one of many natural methods to induce labor, but a good way to condition yourself for labor and delivery. Not sure where to start? Check out this article on How to Walk to Induce Labor.
Eat Spicy Food
While it may be an old wive’s tale, many mothers swear that eating spicy food sent them right into labor! Why could this be? Spicy food stimulates the digestive system, helping move the bowels, which in turn could possibly help the uterus start to contract. Go for some delicious curry recipes, Chinese take-out, or Thai food.
Have Some “Alone Time” with Your Partner
If you’re up for it (and with your doctor’s approval), shut the bedroom door and go for it with your partner. Semen has natural prostaglandins, a hormone produced by a woman’s body to help induce labor. After sex, lay horizontal for a bit and relax with your hips elevated to try to thin and soften your cervix. Plus, the uterus contracts during orgasm, a great way to jump-start labor.
An age-old Asian practice, acupressure is the act of using finger pressure over certain places of the body to help the body relax and relieve pain. There are certain pressure points on the body which have been known to not only help induce labor, but also to help with the pain associated with childbirth. For some tips and safety measures of acupressure, check out this article.
Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme from the stems of pineapples which is said to stimulate muscle contains and soften the cervix. The proteins in bromelain are known to stimulate chemical activity within the body, therefore, hopefully helping the body kick into high gear for labor.
Pineapple is also an anti-inflammatory and therefore a digestive aid, bringing about bowel movements, and hopefully inducing labor. Can’t stomach pineapple straight up? Sip on one of pineapple smoothie recipes and wait for that baby.
Shake your groove thing, mama! Not only is dancing one of the perfectly natural methods to induce labor, you can have fun while doing it. Swaying your hips while dancing can help the baby descend into the pelvis. Just like with walking, gravity will help the baby down, so that the head is up against the cervix, thus releasing the oxytocin that can induce labor.
Bounce on a Ball
Many women use an exercise ball during labor to help ease the baby down the birth canal, but did you know you could also use it to induce labor? Squatting and bouncing on a large ball will open up the pelvis and help the baby’s head down near the cervix. By bouncing, you are allowing your pelvis to engage the baby. Again, let gravity do it’s thing!
Drink Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
While red raspberry leaf tea, an old Native American pregnancy tonic, may not actually naturally induce labor, many women drink it throughout their pregnancy because it helps tone the uterus.
It also helps strengthen the contractions, so once actual contractions begin, red raspberry leaf tea is thought to help the process along. If the uterus is toned, it is prone to be more ready to go at the right time. Furthermore, many women continue to drink the tea after delivery because it helps tone the uterus back into shape.
Find your local playground and go for “a swing.” The small G-force which results from swinging could possibly encourage your little one to come out. Further, a ride on a swing will help the baby’s head down into the cervix, thus stimulating the oxytocin as it does during walking and dancing.