If you are in the percentage of expecting mothers who start to inch beyond their due date, then you may be looking for natural induction methods. Although the verdict is still out about many ways to bring on the birth of your baby, there are some that seem to work with consistency. Keep reading to find what natural ways I personally believe work better than some.
Is natural inducing your baby safe?
One of the biggest things to pay attention to when deciding to induce labor is the timing. It is never suggested to induce labor before being full term. Any methods used for induction before full term can cause some critical complications for mom and baby.
There are also statistics that suggest that induction versus natural labor can increase the risk of needing medical intervention, including surgical delivery. The best advice is to try to wait for natural labor unless it becomes a medical issue. And, always consult your primary care provider if you have questions about inducing your labor naturally.
My Top 8 Natural Induction Methods
These may or may not work for you, but they are methods that have been used for a very long time.
Depending on the massage parlor, some offer what’s known as induction massage. The point of this particular massage are to help naturally release oxytocin, which is the hormone needed to start labor. Not only does prenatal massage help with bringing about labor naturally, it is also known to reduce anxiety, increase blood flow, and provide pain relief.
One of the key ingredients in this brew is castor oil, so if you’re looking to stay away from that ingredient, you can either leave it out or avoid the drink altogether. The brew also consists of lemon verbena oil, almond butter, and apricot juice. It is less than tasty and should only be consumed at the okay from your primary care provider.
Nipple stimulation is one of the only natural induction methods that has scientific data to back it up. There was a trial that had expecting mothers perform nipple stimulation on a daily basis, and the reports showed more of the women went into natural labor after 3 days than women who did not.
Pumping your breast gives a similar reaction as nipple stimulation, but be cautious about it causing engorged breasts and mastitis. To use breast pumping, start with 5-minute increments on each breast. If contractions haven’t started after an hour, take a break and try again another day. If your contractions have started, use your breast pump for about 5 minutes on each breast until contractions have reached 5 minutes apart.
Having intercourse is said to work because of the natural oxytocin that is released during an orgasm as well as a chemical found in a man’s semen that is said to help with the line thinning processes. If you have had complications during pregnancy, such as placenta previa, you may not want to try this natural induction method.
This is the practice of placing small needles in specific areas in the body that are said to line up with specific points that can induce labor. If the thought of needles scares you, you can also opt in to the needleless equivalent known as acupressure.
Reflexology is another method similar to acupressure that can help induce labor. If you don’t think you can find the Kunlun point yourself, see a professional. The Kunlun point is used to promote labor, ease labor pain, and reduce obstruction.
Many expecting moms agree that seeing a chiropractor toward the end of their pregnancy has helped with many things from helping the baby get into position to aiding in starting labor. Over the weeks of growing a baby, the body goes through many changes that can result in misalignment and tightness, both of which may hinder labor.
Natural Induction Methods that Probably Do Not Work
There are several induction methods that some expecting mothers use that simply do not work, despite the old wives tales built around them. One of the most popular is caster oil. Although this oil can cause labor-like pains, it’s mostly a result from uterine contractions associated with what the oil does to onset diarrhea.
Another popular method that seems to be a dud is eating spicy foods. It can have a similar affect to castor oil and it can also give you heartburn, which is not good to have during labor. Last but not least is pineapple. Some people have been told that eating pineapple can help thin the cervical lining, but it doesn’t help induce labor.
Expecting a little one is so exciting, but it can become overwhelming patiently waiting on the delivery day. The natural induction methods mentioned above should only be tried if you are at full term in your pregnancy journey and have consulted your PCP. Have you tried natural induction before? If so, let me know in the comments below!