Paging Northeast Doulas: How to Induce Labor Naturally
I can’t tell you how many women are desperate to give birth when they reach the end of the third trimester. They’re uncomfortable, tired, and anxious to meet their little one. I’ve asked the Northeast Doulas for their tricks to inducing labor naturally. There are even a few that are new to me!
Doctors are famous for talking induction as estimated due dates approach and/or pass BUT… lots of women opt for induction on their own. Did I say opt? I meant BEG!!!
Many women show up at their doctor/midwife appointment at 39-40 weeks and are exhausted, overwhelmed and “finished” being pregnant.
There are many reasons why a woman might want to induce her labor when her pregnancy is considered full term. I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that the number one reason is that they are so excited to meet their baby, that they don’t want to wait another day!
Other reasons might include:
- Scheduling business appointments/trips for partner
- Arranging postpartum help from out of town family members
- Fear of quick spontaneous labor
- Wanting some control over when labor starts
- Having good childcare in place for your older child
Many women seek out more natural approaches to induction in order to avoid more invasive medical approaches to it later.
Let me go on record by saying… if your baby is not ready to come out… NONE of these methods will change that! But have fun trying J
- Sex – It is not the “act” of sex that triggers labor. It is actually the “deposit” that is made during the act of sex… Prostaglandin in semen helps soften or ripen the cervix. That means no “pulling out” if you’re trying to get this to work
- Walking – Walk, rest, walk, rest…. Remember not to tire yourself out! You’ll need your energy if this works
- Eating spicy foods – People swear by certain foods to trigger the onset of labor. Spicy, fatty, sweet etc. What those people are telling us is that that food stimulates their bowels! It is not the food that brings on the labor, it is the bowel movement that kicks things into gear. I’m just sayin’…
- Evening primrose oil – These are capsules that can be ingested or inserted vaginally to help soften or ripen the cervix. My recommendation if you are going to try this, is to sterilize a needle, poke some holes in the capsule, apply the oil to your aroused partner and, well… you see where I’m going, right?
- Castor oil – This is only something to consider if you are quite a bit past your estimated due date AND you haven’t had a bowel movement in the last 18-24 hours. If you are “empty” when you do this, it can cause dehydration and severe discomfort.
- Acupuncture – A study done at the University of North Carolina, revealed that 70% of women who were treated with acupuncture went into labor on their own. Without acupuncture, those who receive standard care go into labor without medical intervention around 50% of the time.
- Eating Dates – I know! It sounds crazy, right? Check this out!
- Nipple stimulation – Stimulating your nipples by hand or with a breast pump, increases your oxytocin levels and can cause uterine contractions. After your baby is born and you feel these contractions while he/she is breastfeeding, you will understand this concept perfectly.
- Red raspberry leaf tea – The list of the benefits of red raspberry leaf tea is a long one and includes everything from sore throat relief to lowering blood pressure. This study shows how pregnant women benefitted from its ingestion.
As always, remember to discuss your options with your provider. And keep in mind that a good Doula will support you in the decisions that you make about induction and she should never have her own agenda in regard to YOUR choices.