While you are anxiously waiting for baby, the thought of delivering a baby naturally haunts you the whole time you are pregnant. Every woman wants to induce labor naturally to have a vaginal delivery, but the tolerance level varies from one woman to another. A very few moms may choose to have a C-section, but the majority would only want to give birth naturally.
Before starting your pushing marathon, there is a lot to be done when you are on 36 weeks mark at the end of pregnancy. Some of them might be considered old wives’ tales but for some women, if not all, have been proved very effective to induce labor naturally at home.
Every woman’s body is different, so what works for one may not work for another. Since natural ways do not have any side effects, it is worth a try to prepare your pregnant body for labor.
Sometimes even trying all the natural ways to trigger labor, the birth results are not as expected. In the end, having a happy, and healthy baby is all that matters.
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Natural ways to induce labor at home
Most women prefer natural birth, as the recovery is fairly easier than C-section. For that, you have to prepare your body for labor in a natural and healthy way without artificial induction. Let’s find out what are the food and non-food things to induce labor naturally, so you can have an unmedicated birth.
Organic Raspberry leaves are known for easing and relieving menstrual pain. Midwives usually advise moms-to-be to drink raspberry tea made with organic leaves by 36 weeks mark. Drinking raspberry tea will significantly reduce menstrual pain and make your labor pain much more manageable.
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Also, you can get Pink Stork Labor prep tea to prepare your body naturally for labor and pain management.
Eating dates regularly throughout your pregnancy may help ripen your cervix by the time you are ready to deliver.
Nevertheless, you should be eating dates moderately the whole time you are pregnant, as they are the best energy boosters and healthy. Most importantly, dates help significantly in inducing labor naturally.
To be exact, you need a total of 6 dates in a day, two dates morning, two dates, afternoon and 2 in the evening. Ideally, with every meal.
Organic Medjool Dates tastes best, you can get these from Giant, Wegmans, or any other grocery store.
Primrose evening oil capsules
Primrose evening oil capsules may work for some women to trigger labor.
By the mark of 37 to 38 weeks, 2 primrose capsules every day would help ripen the cervix and may help you a lot in starting pains naturally.
On my 39 weeks appointment during my first pregnancy, I was not even close to delivering. My doctor advised me to take Primrose oil capsules orally, and she mentioned a couple more things I am going to take about later in the post.
So It was Wednesday, I started taking primrose and followed for about two days, and finally the pains triggered.
Well, it may vary person to person, but you can try taking it after discussing it with your doctor if nothing else is working. Taking primrose close to your delivery may help mucous plug to get out.
If you do not know what is mucus plug, here is what you need to know.
Mucous plus may come out couple of weeks before you deliver, this does not necessarily mean that you are in labor.
Eating fresh pineapple by the end of the third trimester may trigger labor. Although this old wives’ tale is not backed by science, it could work for some women.
Pineapple is known to have properties, called Bromelain, that may soften the cervix and induce labor pains. If you are still waiting for natural labor, why not enjoy some fresh pineapple!
Braxton hick and real labor contractions are two different things. Once your body gets ready to give birth, (meaning the cervix effaces gradually), it may take days for the cervix to dilate.
Most women would prefer waiting for natural labor pains just because they want an unmedicated birth. Sometimes cervix may take longer to dilate after 2 cms till 10 cm.
Birthing Ball helps moms to dilate faster without induction.
Sometimes, if the water does not break, hospital nurses and doctors ask you to wait at home until contractions are 5 to 3 minutes apart.
Birthing ball can be used at home or at the hospital, as it actually quickens the labor process.
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Well, castor oil may be used as a laxative by many women. A lot of women get easy labor by drinking castor oil in warm milk. Castor oil helps to relax your intestines and clear them thoroughly. This may trigger some tension in your uterus, increasing the chances of a natural unmedicated birth.
Try this little trick when you are full-term pregnant. It may not work to induce labor if you try a week or so before your due date.
Since every woman is different, If castor oil does not work for you, the benefits are endless. Apply castor oil on your eyelashes at night for with the help of a mascara brush for luscious growth. Trust me, it does wonders for the eyelashes and for hair growth.
Organic ghee with milk
Well, organic ghee clarified butter softens the abdominal area and intestines. Not to mention, clarified butter does not work the same way as castor oil but it is effective and has a positive effect on contractions.
In order to have smooth and short labor, you should be drinking warm milk with a table spoon of organic ghee.
If you like, you may add cardamom for extra flavor. I do not add anything to milk for sweetness, as it is already sweet enough for me. However, you can add a sweetener of your choice, if needed.
In this video below, you will learn how to make organic ghee at home using unsalted butter.
Having intercourse/sex frequently during the last two weeks may help with natural birth. A lot of women swear by this method. Even doctors and midwives recommend having sex at the end of pregnancy because the sebum helps soften the cervix over time, which further helps in dilating faster.
This method is known to quicken cervix effacement naturally, eventually making the process of natural birth easier and quicker.
To be honest, at the end of pregnancy, when you are already agitated due to nauseating pregnancy hormones, having sex would be the last thing on your mind. Do not force yourself for something you don’t want just for the sake of having a natural birth.
Feel free to try any other way you feel comfortable with.
Cleaning and heavy vacuuming
In the case of high-risk pregnancy, you avoid involving yourself in physical activities or chores around the house. That could be one of the reasons you are not having natural labor pains by 39 weeks. Or your doctor may tell you at 39 weeks’ appointment that your cervix has still not effaced or close to your vagina.
Try to clean and do heavy vacuum around the house, only if your body allows. If you have strong contractions and dilate quickly, this may increase the chance of unmedicated birth without induction of Pitocin.
Another way to prepare your body for natural birth is by doing perineal massage.
The doctors advise perineal massage to prepare your vagina by stretching it, making the birth process easier. If you are comfortable, have someone massage the perineal area for you.
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You can also try perineal Massage oil during pregnancy to prepare for labor.
Warm Bath or have a massage
Taking a warm bath helps moms with Braxton hicks, it will calm down your body muscles. Massage produces hormones that may trigger labor pains naturally.
Spending most of your time in the water to increase contractions, is the best way for pain management. Because when you are in the process of having contractions, you lose energy faster, and you are already exhausted to even try further.
Using essential oils for massage during pregnancy is a great way to relax your body.
Stay active, walk or exercise
High-risk pregnancy requires bed rest for the most part. Doctors advise several other things to avoid, like, no exertion, no intercourse, fewer stairs and etc. Because of the less movement in general, moms-to-be tend to lazy. Well, even in normal pregnancy, you should not be overdoing anything that may risk the fetus.
Staying active during your pregnancy would help you have a normal delivery in most cases.
Stay comfy in your clothes – Robes are expectant moms favorite outfit during the time of contractions.
Wearing maternity robes is a perfectly manageable outfit at the time of contractions or when you are using the birthing ball to speed up dilation.
Also, I highly recommend using non-slip socks. Maternity non-slip socks are best for both, home and the hospital.
What to do when body gets exhausted due to labor pains
Having slow contractions for days make your body tired and exhausted. In such cases, you need to take proper rest, and sleep, although it doesn’t seem an option with all those labor pains.
When I was struggling with my slow contraction and my body was getting exhausted before time, my doctor prescribed Benadryl so I could at least sleep before the process speeds up. Talk to your doctor about Benadryl, and how safe is it to take in any circumstances.
Keeping your energy sustained for long labor is hard. Try to manage some sleep and breathing exercise to deal with intense labor pains.
Reasons why C-section Deliveries occur
Besides having natural labor pains, I have had both my deliveries via emergency C-section. C-section delivery usually happens in emergencies like:
- Baby’s heartbeat does not look stable.
- Mom-to-be has a narrow pelvic bone so the baby’s does not pass through
- Cord around baby’s neck
- Twin fetus or multiple fetus
- Baby is breach – head up, legs down
- Transverse position of baby
- Previous C-section happened in less than 2 years.
- Other medical condition that put mom or baby at risk.
Spend early labor hours or days at home When you know you are in real labor
Once you start having contractions, time the interval between each successive contraction. Contracting with equal intervals is the most significant sign of being in labor.
Ideally, the time in between contractions should be decreasing after a couple of hours. But it is not the case every time. It may reduce 20 minutes to 15 minutes in a couple of days. It is very important to have the right strategy for having a natural birth.
Sometimes the mom-to-be gets so exhausted having contractions but the dilation slows down significantly.
When you are trying these natural unmedicated birthing techniques, be mindful that you should not be doing anything earlier than 36 weeks. Babies’ lungs mature in the last several weeks of the third trimester.