The Best Natural Ways To Help Induce Your Labour
When you reach the stage of pregnancy where you are considered full-term every single day can feel like a week.
Everything from a funny sneeze to a tiny change in appetite can convince you that labour is about to begin. We call that hope.
The truth is that by the end of your third trimester, everyday activities become increasingly more difficult and you can become extremely impatient.
While it’s important to let nature take its course, many women like to try to induce labour in a natural way. Old wives' tales boast about certain foods and activities that are sure to get things moving – sure what do you have to lose?
Here are the best natural ways to help induce labour according to mums like you and me:
1. Doing the deed
That’s right – it might be the last thing on your mind right now but many couples believe that having sexual intercourse encourages labour to begin quicker. Some say it’s the rush of hormones and others say it ripens the cervix preparing it for labour. Worth a flutter?
2. Light exercise
Going for a walk or doing some gentle exercise that raises your heart rate may just move things along. At the very least, it will help relieve stress and tension which has been building due to the anticipation and fear.
3. Nipple stimulation
This can lead to your uterus contracting which might just bring labour on.
4. Eating spicy food is the most popular one of all
There is no scientific link between spicy food and the onset of labour but many women like to give it a go. Just be careful though, if spicy food is not part of your regular diet it may upset your tummy a little.
Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to induce a woman’s labour. Many women highly rate this therapy as the reason their labour began sooner rather than later. The needles are tiny and you won’t feel any pain.
6. Eating dates
A recent study showed a connection between a diet rich in dates and a labour that required no help or induction methods. Sticky toffee pudding it is.
7. An exercise ball
Bouncing on an exercise ball can help encourage your baby to change position and move down closer to the birthing canal.
8. Eating pineapple
Many people believe that fresh raw pineapple can help soften your cervix and bring on labour, however, science tells us that it would take a lot of pineapples to do this.
9. Raspberry leaf
Raspberry leaf tea can strengthen and tone the uterus when it is consumed regularly. For this reason, many mums find it great after the birth as they try to build their tummy strength back up again. It can be enjoyed hot or cold and picked up at any health food shop.
10. Regular warm baths
Having relaxing baths will help you to feel relaxed and there is evidence to show that feeling stressed can delay labour. The warm water can also help relax your muscles and encourage better sleep which will help your state of mind and emotional wellbeing ahead of the task at hand.
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.com.