D.I.Y. Induced Labor
Guide to Naturally Inducing your labor by Dr. Jennifer Dorn
Published June 17, 2021
So your 39-40 week mark has came and went? What’s next? The dreaded waiting game. Women often get overwhelmed and overly anxious at this point and are looking for ANY way to get their baby out and into their arms. They are often at max capacity of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing; they simply want their body back and are losing patience fast. Here are 7 ways to get you closer to holding the precious being that you created!
Let’s be honest though, the only way to naturally induce labor is to be patient and allow the body to do what it was made for: physiological birth. In most cases, it’s best to let baby set their own birth date, even if it means waiting another week or two. The average gestation time for a mother’s first baby is 40 weeks and 4 days. I always say plan on 42 weeks (even though I didn’t believe that advice for myself). As moms, we feel huge and ready and hopeful for an early arrival, but this is definitely not the case. However, there are plenty of perks to waiting until your body naturally decides to go into labor — including recovery. Women who weren’t induced typically recover more quickly than those who are.
Anything that gets you moving and gets your heart rate up (in moderation) is actually beneficial to you and the baby’s overall health. Try going for a walk or a swim; if you’re feeling up to a challenge, attempt a hike. My own labor was induced by hiking up the very steep Harrison Hollow Trailhead, begrudgingly. My husband said “we are going up here”, and I exclaimed “NO WAY!” already huffing and puffing from the walk. However, he looked at me with the “I know you want this baby out” look and so I conceded, and it worked, I went into labor shortly after going home!
Malasana, or squatting, pose. From FITSRI.
If that is out of your comfort zone, yoga is a great option too, especially Malasana (also known as squatting pose). Nothing crazy here, just some poses that requires you to widen your legs and gently release any tension in your lower back, like these stretches from BoDo Chiropractic. Any light exercise is a great way to open your pelvis and help to adjust the baby in the correct position. In fact, exercise is the top trigger for expecting parents according to the Journal of Perinatal Education. If nothing at all, you’ll feel much better afterwards and your body and baby will thank you for the added movement.
If you are looking to maintain a healthier pregnancy as well as reduce your time spent in labor when it comes time to deliver that precious little one you’ve been so excited to meet, chiropractic care is the best next step for you.
Chiropractic care is the art, science and philosophy of removing interference from the body, reconnecting oneself to their nervous system. This often realigns the body, reducing stress amongst the spinal nerve and promoting health throughout the body. A Chiropractor trained in pregnancy can assist in proper alignment of a woman’s body, which, in turn, helps the body adjust into optimal position and promote engagement of the head in the cervix to begin the birthing process. They may use Webster technique or other helpful adjustment techniques and/or muscle work to properly align a woman’s body and pelvis. When the body is in proper alignment and free from interference, there is often times both relief from back, rib and hip/pelvic pain, in addition to decreased labor time! The Chiropractors at BoDo Chiropractic specialize in pregnancy and pediatrics, and we regularly hear comments like, “I wish I had known about Chiropractic and pregnancy with my previous child, because this was the best and fastest labor I’ve had and I wasn’t in pain my whole pregnancy!”
As your body changes during your pregnancy, several physiological and endocrinological modifications occur in order to provide the best possible environment for the growth and development of your little bundle of joy. Therefore, chiropractic care is the best way to keep those changes in check. Since, your body is under a massive amount of stress, it is easy to overlook symptoms and write them off as something that is natural to bearing a child. While that might be true, chiropractic care can aid in this process and help to relive some of the pain or uncomfortableness that you are experiencing. Conditions such as these are best treated in a non-invasive way:
Chiropractic care aids in the correct alignment of the pelvis which, if thrown off, can affect the mother’s ability to have a natural birth. The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported in the July/August 2002 issue that their was a success rate of 82% in flipping breech babies when the Webster Technique was applied.
Overall benefits are as follows:
Promotes an overall healthier pregnancy
Aids in controlling nausea
Reduces the time spent in labor and delivery
Takes preventative action against a Cesarean section
Relieves back, neck and joint pain.
So, go right ahead and schedule your next adjustment, and be sure to see a provider that you are comfortable with and will be gentle on you and your new mini-me. Of course, with anything regarding the human body, there are no guarantees, and we do not claim or promise any of the above for everyone, as every body and baby is different. Of the thousands of moms we have seen, we have never heard the same birth story twice.
Whoever said Doin’ the Dirty was all fun and games has obviously never been a week passed their due date.
Luckily, if the idea of foreplay is not your forte then there’s no need to sweat it. Oxytocin is the main hormone released when lovemaking occurs; but this hormone can occur naturally from just being close with your partner. Yes, that means you can grab your favorite blanket and put on a good movie, because cuddling will get the job done.
When oxytocin is supplied to the body during pregnancy, it stimulates powerful contractions that thin and dilate the cervix, preparing for the arrival of your child. Similarly, due to the uterine activity caused from an orgasm, dilation and contractions occur.
Another great motto to live by when you are past your due date: when in doubt, do not pull out. Semen has a great deal of natural Prostaglandin, which ripens the cervix for dilation and effacement. Your doctor may use artificial Prostaglandins if it is determined you must begin labor sooner.
Aromatherapy is a great way to destress and calm oneself. There are many benefits to aromatherapy in general, but for the purpose of this article, clary sage is our focus. Clary Sage, because of it’s natural ability to stimulate the release of oxytocin in pregnant women, is regarded as one of the best ways to induce a natural birth.
In a journal titled Aromatherapy in Pregnancy by Vikki Hobbs, she states that clary sage is “…highly recommended for use during labor to help contractions to intensify and become more effective in pulling up the horizontal uterine muscles to open the cervix and move baby down into the pelvis and into the birth canal”. This is due to the release of oxytocin and the relaxation of the mother after one has utilized this powerful essential oil.
It should be noted, however, that it is best to avoid clary sage until you have at least reached your 37th week mark. It is believed that its powerful affects can cause a premature birth. While there have never been any medically recorded cases of clary sage sending someone running to the delivery room a few weeks before their due date, it is best to heed this word of caution.
Walking Up and Down a Curb
Walking on the edge of a curb with one foot on the street and the other on the curb can help induce labor.
Walking with one foot on the sidewalk and the other off the sidewalk in the gutter area is a simple way to try to begin the labor process. To begin, take a short stroll for few minutes in one direction, and then turn around to engage the other side of the body. This moves the pelvis and hips, increasing the odds that baby moves lower into the uterus and engages for the laboring process.
Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
If all else fails, lets eat!
Scanlini’s Italian Restaurant, which opened in 1980, may be famous solely based off of this one dish. Reports of hundreds of women, all past due and desperate to be naturally induced, float around on the internet claiming that they went into labor on their own with 48 hours of consuming this delectable entrée. One article that is definitely worth the read should you have the time, even states that the recipe sent her into labor not ONCE, but TWICE!
The reputation of the Eggplant Parmesan being so sound that the mother’s who have tried this have no deemed their offspring as the “Eggplant Babies”. A page, in all its glory, can be found on the Scanlini website proudly displaying the images of all the little bundles of join helped brought along by the spicy, cheesy casserole.
After your cuddle date, try a different kind of date! Dates are fruits that are full of vitamins and nutrients that allow for increased cervical ripening and dilation at the beginning of labor. In addition, dates also decrease the amount of Pitocin needed during labor. A recent article found that, “spontaneous labour occurred in 96% of those who consumed dates, compared with 79% women in the non-date fruit consumers” and that the “use prostin/oxytocin was significantly lower in women who consumed dates (28%), compared with the non-date fruit consumers (47%)”.
So, there you have it: 7 ways to induce labor on your own. If you happen to try one or more of our natural method in the hastening the arrival of the newest member of your family, please let us know!
From the BoDo Family to yours, we wish you health and lots of love in your new adventures!