Oh the dreaded last month of pregnancy. Here I am in my second pregnancy at the home stretch. There are so many different old wives tales about ways to induce labor naturally, but I thought I'd share a few of the things I've used in both of my pregnancys to help induce labor naturally.
Raspberry leaf - Taken either as a tea or pill. Start at about 34 weeks. Opinion is divided as to whether it will start labor, but it definitely strengthens the uterus, leading to a (hopefully) shorter labor, because each contraction can achieve more. It has been shown in a few different studies to shorten the second stage of labor, pushing.
Evening primrose oil - Can be taken orally from 35 weeks on or used internally from 38 weeks. If you decide to go with the second route, I would recommend doing it at night and using a pantyliner. However keep in mind that it DOES have risks, so do your own research.
Clary sage oil - Research shows that clary sage oil can help promote labor and relieve pain. Massage into lower abdomin at 38 Weeks.
- 1 Ounce Glass bottle
- 8 Drops Clary Sage Essential Oil
- 5 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 3 Drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
- Fractionated Coconut Oil
Stretch and sweep of membranes - Your midwife or doctor can perform this simple procedure. A finger is inserted into the cervix and a gentle 'sweep' of the finger slightly separates the uterus wall and amniotic sac, sometimes leading to labor within hours or days. How well it works can also depend on if you are very far dilated or not.
Massage - Find a massage therapist qualified to work with pregnant women. Many will know various points to massage to induce labor. This is why massage is not recommended during the early stages of pregnancy.
Squats - Doing a few of these each day often helps to move the baby down and into position. Squats use gravity to push the baby downwards, thereby jumpstarting your birth naturally.
Walking - The bumping up and down can help the baby move into the birth canal. In fact, this is one of the few ways that most doctors agree on for starting labor. If walking doesn't work, try walking up and down stairs. Lifting your legs further in its range of motion can help further push the baby downward.
Yoga - Many places offer special classes for all stages of pregnancy. I'm a fan of yoga, especially during pregnancy because it helps you connect to what your body is feeling, helps your ability to quiet your mind and gets you practicing your breathing! There are a number of different yoga positions & flows that help move baby down the birth canal.
Sperm - Sex, this is a good start towards getting ready for labor. The sperm contains natural prostaglandins that help soften and dilate the cervix.
Orgasms - Orgasms cause contractions which is one of the reasons they feel so good. It's also why many women enjoy orgasms more during pregnancy!
Wine - Wine helps release oxytocin, one of the hormones that signals the body to go into labor.