Here are my favorite “I’m ready to see that baby” tips and tricks!
Remember that according to studies the estimated the average healthy length of a pregnancy is 40 weeks and 5 days. But of course there are times when going into labor before that time would be beneficial for mom and baby.
With any home induction method I recommend trying them only when you are well rested, hydrated and feeling over all well! Also unless directed by your care provider I do not recommend trying these methods before 40 weeks of pregnancy. Induction methods are more likely to be effective in the evening. But when bedtime comes rest rest rest rest rest. If you think that maybe you have been successful in getting labor started and bedtime comes rest rest rest rest. Oxytocin is your friend and oxytocin is at its highest when you are receiving or giving affection and love and when you are resting. Resting helps labor!
When it comes to going into labor you need 3 things in your favor
1. Being rested:When at all possible rest at some point during the daytime. A nap is optimal but even just sitting or laying comfortably for 30-60 minutes is awesome! The reason I want you resting at some point during the day is because labor almost always starts at night! so the more rested you are the more likely your body will have the energy to start labor at night.
2.Oxytocin:The reason labor more often times starts at night is because that’s when your natural oxytocin levels are highest! Other things that trigger oxytocin are intimacy with loved ones (sex and cuddles especially!), nipple stimulation (from your partner or breast pump on it’s lowest setting, and rest!
3. Mobility: Mobility is mostly about getting baby in a good position. The better the baby is positioned the lower he will be and the more pressure he will place on your cervix, which will help labor.
My recommended Sequence:
1. Rest middle of the day and hydrate hydrate hydrate.
2. When evening time comes go on a walk and do deep side lunges every few steps (lunge with your foot on a chair or rock or something to help make the lung deeper.
3. Any time you have Braxton hicks contractions do nipple stimulation and/or the Heku pressure point (below) to help strengthen them! Nipple stimulation is best when done by your partner but can also be effective with a breast pump on its lowest setting. Do nipple stimulation for the recommended time below or 15 minutes every 15 minutes for 1-2 hours. Best done along with a bout of Braxton hicks contractions!
4. bounce on the yoga ball and watch a funny movie! Laughter increases oxytocin!
5. have some intimate time with your man! This doesn’t have to be full on sex! (although semen does help with dilation!) make out session, nipple play, and clitoris play (orgasms contract more than just your vagina!) are all beneficial!
1. Get some jasmine essential oil to place on the Heku pressure point (below) as well as your ankles and belly. (jasmine is a uterus friendly oil that can help labor and trigger labor!)
2. Warm bath and a glass of wine (one glass of wine will not give your baby fetal alcohol syndrome and may help you relax enough to go into labor!)
3. Eat dates all day every day!
4. If your due date has passed and still no labor consider the Midwife’s Brew
Remember above all rest is your best friend!!! Keep active when you feel up to it but when you feel tired or when it is bedtime or nap time rest rest rest rest!! Being exhausted can hold off labor because your body doesn’t have enough fuel for the labor!
When you are for sure ready for baby (Rested, hydrated, and feel emotional prepared) I recommend something that I see midwives suggesting to their patients, which is the midwife’s brew.
I also recommend clearing it with your care provider before trying! Also check out the evidence based info on castor oil below!
“If a mother is using breast stimulation to augment labor, it is probably best if the laboring person is with a care provider who can monitor the uterine activity and look out for any potential fetal heart rate problems as needed. A variety of techniques are described in the research evidence but researchers consistently recommend that women focus only on one breast at a time and include rest intervals. Researchers seem to agree that people who have high risk pregnancies should not use breast stimulation to induce labor until there’s more evidence that it’s safe in this population. Since this seems to be a pretty effective way to induce labor, it seems only right that someone should probably be talking with their care provider about if they’re going to be doing this so that they can get their care provider’s advice for their specific situation.” -Evidence Based Birth
“Randomized trials have found that eating date fruit in late pregnancy, around 60-80 grams a day of fruit, may increase cervical ripening, reduce the need for a medical labor induction or augmentation, and one small study found a positive effect on postpartum blood loss. However, nobody’s looked at this in women with gestational diabetes, so if you have gestational diabetes, these results probably don’t apply to you. Also, these studies were small and they had limitations, including you can’t blind people. You know if you’re eating dates or not, so people in the research studies and the mothers may have known that they were eating dates, which may affect the results. It may lead to some bias, and we didn’t look at the women’s diets outside of the date fruit.” – Evidence Based Birth
“There is almost no research on this topic. The one randomized trial that found the EPO did improve cervical ripening, but it made no difference in how quickly women into labor. The birth center study found more labor complications or a trend towards more labor complications in the group that took EPO. The case report of the baby with skin problems after their mother took EPO is troubling, but we can’t know for sure if the EPO is related to that or not. So at this time the use of EPO during pregnancy or to induce labor is experimental mostly based on anecdotes and we don’t have any scientific evidence that it is effective or safe.” – Evidence Based Birth
“Researchers think there’s three ways that sex could possibly affect natural labor induction. The prostaglandins in the semen, orgasm that stimulates uterus activity, and the increase in natural oxytocin from sexual activity.
In summary, it’s safe to attempt unprotected, vaginal sex as a means to induce labor, as long as the membranes are intact, the sexual partner has been tested for sexually transmitted infections, and there are no other health concerns.” – Evidence Based Birth
“Many essential oils are safe to use during labor and delivery. Aromatherapy can help make you more relaxed and comfortable. You can reap the benefits of most essential oils just by smelling them.
Ask your doctor about using essential oils during labor well before your due date. You may not be able to bring your own essential oils into the delivery room. (If you have a C-section, you can’t bring anything into the sterile operating room.)
Note that essential oils are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for any kind of treatment, although many clinical studies have noted the benefits of aromatherapy. More research is needed on essential oils for labor — and many other uses.” Healthline
“There’s very little research on the human consumption of raspberry leaf during pregnancy. There were no adverse outcomes found in the two studies where they gave raspberry leaf to humans. One animal study did find early puberty in the female offspring of the rats that were treated with raspberry leaf in very high doses and more health problems in the third generation. The results from the remaining animal studies are contradictory as to whether raspberry leaf can induce contractions or cause relaxation of the uterus.
Neither the randomized trial with humans nor the observational study found any significant results with regards to the outcomes that they looked at. It might just be that we need larger numbers of people in these studies in order to see the effects of red raspberry leaf.” – Evidence Based birth
“Acupressure draws upon the same concepts as acupuncture, but it uses firm massage and pressure from the hands instead of needles.
There is strong evidence to support the use of acupuncture for certain health conditions, but scientific research on acupressure is still in its infancy and has had mixed results to date.
However, some studies on acupressure have had promising results, and some women say that it is the only thing that helped them go into labor.” Medical News Today