Tag Archives: childbirth

Natural Methods to Induce Labor - SmartMom

Natural Methods to Induce Labor: Nine Tips for New Moms

Photo by The Blog is Found

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.

Try Acupressure

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.

Eat Pineapple

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.

Go Dancing

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.

Try Swinging

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.

 

RELATED QUESTIONS

How many of you mamas have been induced and had it lead to having a c section?

I would much rather have my baby naturally but..wondering how many of you got induced & how was the experience?

Any moms out there have any successful ways to naturally induce labor?

Wondering how you all feel about being induced..Is it dangerous for it not to happen naturally?

Any natural ways to induce labor? I’m scheduled to be induced..don’t want to resort to that..

Do you think induced labors are more intense/painful than natural?

39 weeks and doc scheduled me to be induced..my mom told me being induced hurts way more than having naturally.

Any tips on how to naturally induce labor? I’m so done being pregnant!

Tips on how to get labor started naturally (besides castor oil)?

Shouldn’t I wait for natural labor to occur or should I consider having the induction?

 

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C-Section Cost - SmartMom

C-Section Cost May Be More Than More than You Bargained For

Photo by Stephanie Sunderland

When you are anticipating childbirth, especially for the first time, it can be daunting. It’s important to have a doctor you trust and to talk to them about your birth plan. Most women expect to give birth vaginally, but according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about one-third of all births in the U.S. are by Cesarean section (c-section).

Although sometimes c-sections can sound better than giving birth (avoiding contractions and pushing), and scheduling your time of birth seems attractive, c-sections do cost substantially more. Unless medically necessary, you should aim to give birth vaginally when your baby is ready to come out. It will help you save on out-of-pocket medical costs and you will bounce back more quickly physically.

The cost of having a baby

In the U.S., we are billed the most for physician and hospital costs for childbirth of any country in the world. Many other countries charge a flat fee for prenatal care and delivery, but the U.S. health care system charges for each service individually, which drives up the total amount. The cost of vaginal deliveries has increased from $4,918 to $9,294 over the last fifteen years and the average cost of c-sections has risen 70 percent from $8,268 to $14,055, according to Truven Health Analytics.

According to the 2013 report, The Cost of Having a Baby in the United States, the cost of a c-section could vary widely depending on where you live, and if you are uninsured, the news isn’t good. You could be charged as much as $50,000 for a c-section and $30,000 for a vaginal birth.

If you are on Medicaid, there is hope. The program covers over 40% of births nationwide and that number could go up with the advent of the Affordable Care Act. However, in 2013, Medicaid began to try to save money by encouraging hospitals to eliminate elective C-sections due to excessive costs. Now, both Texas and South Carolina deny Medicaid payouts for elective C-sections.

Why have an elective c-section?

If you are thinking of scheduling an elective c-section simply because it seems easier, you should certainly talk to your health care provider about how much you will be expected to pay for it. Even if you think it might be medically necessary, it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead. During my first pregnancy, I had placenta previa, where the placenta blocks the cervix making it dangerous to give birth vaginally, so I had to have a c-section.

My health care plan required that I pay a percentage of my bill up to a capped amount, so having a c-section certainly increased the total and the likelihood that I would have to pay the top fee.

C-section considerations

Be aware that a c-section can cause you to have more c-sections in the future. If you have already had a baby by c-section, giving birth to subsequent children vaginally could be problematic, the issues growing with each c-section. I was encouraged to have another c-section during my second pregnancy because I was having twins and my doctor said it would be safer. Some doctors prefer to play it safe, both to avoid harming the mother or baby and also due to potential legal issues if something were to go wrong.

A 2010 poll reported that 29% of obstetrician college members admitted they were performing additional c-sections in an attempt to avoid being sued. Therefore, it is really important to make sure that your doctor is a good fit for you and you trust their judgment on the best way for you to give birth. Luckily, I did trust my doctor and had good physical outcomes both times, but our bill for both births was high.

Is there anything you can do to avoid paying these high costs? Most of these are associated with your hospital stay, where 59% of vaginal birth costs and 66% of c-section costs are reported to be facility fees. You shouldn’t suddenly decide to have home birth to save money, but you can start by talking to your doctor and other health care professionals early to see what your options are (cheaper facilities or other potential savings), any payment schedules you can work out with your insurance company and anything else you can do to minimize your final bill.

When the time comes, whether you give birth vaginally, at home or through c-section becomes necessary, planning ahead will help you feel more prepared and perhaps reduce your financial burden.

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RELATED QUESTIONS

How expensive was your labor and delivery with insurance?

Starting to think about hospital costs for labor and delivery and curious what it cost everyone

I have had an awful pregnancy and suffer from severe mental illness. My psych thinks I should have a c-section but I’m wondering if my insurance will cover it

Moms who have experience with a c-section with no insurance, how much did you pay?

My doc says I can opt for another c-section or I can try a VBAC. If I opt for the c-section will my insurance cover it?

 

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