There’s nothing more special than bringing a new baby into the world, and as wonderful as pregnancy can be, many expectant mothers are keen to get things moving once they reach their due date.
There are lots of different things you can do to induce labour early in a completely natural way, and this article will tell you all the different methods that you can try to speed up the process and meet your bundle of joy as soon as possible!
It is very common for pregnancy to go on a little longer than usual and for a baby to be born past the due date, however if you have any concerns then you should consult your doctor.
One great way to induce labour early is to get acupuncture treatment. Many people find the idea of having acupuncture to be a bit daunting, but it’s actually a great, and very relaxing thing, to have done.
Lots of studies have shown that acupuncture helps to increase cervical ripening, which is the process whereby the cervix softens, which is vital for the smooth passage of the baby out of the uterus.
Another way it is thought that acupuncture helps to promote labour, is that it stimulates the production of the hormones needed for starting contractions and inducing labour.
So, if you’re hoping to give birth as soon as possible then a good idea is to book yourself an acupuncture appointment. However, make sure that you only get it done by someone who is professionally trained.
Read more: What Can You Eat While Pregnant
Another way to induce labour is to do exercise. You want to do something that gets the heart rate up but isn’t too strenuous.
One of the reasons why exercise is good for inducing labour is because it is a great way to relieve stress, which is needed for your body to go into labour. If you are too stressed and your body feels ‘unsafe’ then it will prevent contractions from starting and in turn prevent you from going into labour. Therefore, relaxing and de-stressing is a great way to induce labour, and exercise is something which can help to do that.
Yoga is a great form of exercise to do as it isn’t too rigorous or strenuous and is a great way to relax and de-stress. In fact, a lot of people use yoga as a form of meditation.
One less commonly tried method of inducing labour early is to drink castor oil. You only need to drink about 1 or 2 ounces, and this will help to stimulate the production of prostaglandin. This helps to promote the process of that all-important cervical ripening, which can help to speed things up and get labour started early.
However, it is important that you don’t drink too much castor oil, and if you are choosing to use this method you need to check with your doctor and midwife first, and do it under their supervision.
Read more: Can Walking the Stairs Induce Labor?
Yes, that legendary myth that sex can help to induce labour is true!
There are a couple of reasons why sex is a great way to get labour starting as soon as possible. One reason is because having sex, and also having an orgasm, releases a significant amount of oxytocin. This hormone is responsible for starting the uterine contractions which start labour.
Furthermore, when an expectant mother has sex with a male, their semen can help to ripen the cervix due to the fact that it contains a high concentration of prostaglandin. As mentioned previously, cervical ripening is the softening of the cervix which in turn helps with the passage of the baby out of the uterus.
So, if you want to induce labour then schedule some intimate time with your significant other! One thing to note, it is completely safe to have sex during the final few weeks of pregnancy, however you should definitely not have sex after your water has broken as this could increase your risk of contracting some potentially harmful infections.
Another natural method for inducing labour is to stimulate your nipples. This can be done simply using your fingers, and you can do it either yourself or have your partner do it for you. Alternatively, you can use a breast pump for nipple stimulation.
The reason why nipple stimulation works to induce labour is because it promotes the production of oxytocin, which is the hormone that leads to the initiation of uterine contractions, which is what causes labour to start.
Oxytocin also promotes the ejection of milk from the breast, and a little bonus fact for you is that if you breastfeed straight after giving birth, then the nipple stimulation from this can actually then cause your uterus to shrink back down to its original size.
So, nipple stimulation is a great way to induce labour so you can give birth as soon as possible. Not only this, but nipple stimulation has actually also been proven to reduce the risk of a mother experiencing postpartum haemorrhage.
Another way to induce labour right now is to eat dates. Dates are not only extremely tasty, but they are also extremely healthy and have been shown to help induce labour.
One of the reasons why dates can induce labour is because they increase cervical ripening, which is that all important process where the cervix softens in order to be soft enough to allow labour, and the passage of the baby out of the uterus, to happen.
Another way that eating dates helps to induce labour is because they promote the dilation of the cervix. In order for an expectant mother to go into labour and give birth, her cervix needs to be dilated to a certain measurement, and so the fact that eating dates helps to speed up this dilation means that in turn you can go into labour sooner.
So, there you have some great, completely natural ways that will help you to go into labour right now. There is obviously no guarantee that these methods will work for you, because obviously everyone is different. Furthermore, it is important to note that just because your baby might be a little past their due date, this doesn’t mean you have to rush the process. There are actually some benefits of waiting for labour to happen naturally. However, if you are keen to speed up the process once you’ve reached full term, then the methods mentioned above are great ones for you to try. It is always best to check with your doctor or midwife first to make sure that you are doing everything as safely as possible.