How to Induce Labour, Naturally*

You’ve waited 9 months for this moment… Maybe much longer. You and your family have gone over the old wives tales and speculated on whether or not it will be a boy or a girl, and made bets on when you think he or she going to arrive.
Counting down
You’ve gone through your pregnancy week by week until your baby has reached full term, getting more excited and anxious by the day, and as you approach the final weeks, you pack your hospital bag, revise your prenatal class notes and make sure you and your birthing partner know your birth plan inside out… but wait… 

Where’s the baby at?! 

If you’ve reached full term and there’s no sign of your little one yet according to the date offered by your pregnancy calculator, then here are some handy hints on how to bring on labour, the natural way…

Food…

Curry 
Now whether it really does work or not is open to debate, but eating curry is one of the most commonly talked about ways of naturally inducing pregnancy. Thoughts on the matter are that because curry stimulates the stomach, it may also stimulate your uterus into action, too…

Pineapple 
Again, pineapple, if eaten in large amounts, can stimulate the tummy and therefore the uterus. And in addition to this, it contains the enzyme bromelain, which some believe helps soften the cervix and naturally induce labour. 

Castor oil 
It’s not really known exactly how castor oil works, but it’s thought that, like curry and pineapple, it stimulates the stomach and therefore the uterus. However – approach this approach with caution, because castor oil can upset your stomach to the degree that it induces nausea and diarrhoea. 

Alternative medicines… 

Homeopathy
The likes of pulsatilla are often used to stimulate labour. There is lots of anecdotal evidence from mums-to-be who have found them helpful. 

Acupuncture 
Acupuncture is thought to stimulate the energy within the body, acting on very specific parts and organs in different ways – and in this example, the uterus.

Physical techniques…

Nipple stimulation 
When you gently rub or roll your nipples, you can simulate the suckling of your baby and trick your body into releasing the hormone oxytocin, which causes contractions to begin.  

Sex 
If you and your partner can manage the logistics and feel comfortable doing this, then having sex can, again, trigger the release of oxytocin, while achieving an orgasm could also stimulate your uterus.

Walking 
Standing upright can encourage movement of your baby down onto your cervix, with the pressure of your baby’s head pressing down on it stimulating the release of labour-inducing oxytocin, once again. 

… Good luck! And a word of warning, please, as always, talk to your doctor before trying any of these out. 

**Image Courtesy of Maurice Waldal

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