Thursday, July 26, 2012

5 Ways to Naturally Induce Labor

Since I have officially hit the 37 week mark and am considered full term (meaning baby is fully developed and ready for the outside world at any time now) I have decided it is time to do whatever I can to help convince this baby girl that it is time to start thinking about checking out of hotel mama.  Don't get me wrong, I love pregnancy and I am all for this baby coming out on her own terms, when I know she's ready, but if I can do little things to naturally help convince her to come out sooner than later, then you better believe I'm going to do it.  With the temperatures rising over 100 degrees this summer and trying to keep up with a 4 year old and a 22 month old, while also making sure the house is presentable, laundry is clean and folded and food is on the table, I am very anxious to get this baby out of my belly and into my arms.

So here are the top 5 ways I've found to naturally induce labor:

1.  My favorite: EAT PINEAPPLE!  This is one of my favorite fruits and I could eat an entire pineapple in one sitting, no problem.  The key is to get only fresh pineapple though.  The reason for this is that pineapples contain a natural enzyme called Bromelain, which is believed to work like a prostagladin and aid in the ripening and softening of the cervix.  If you buy the canned fruit, the enzyme has already diminished and will not help to induce labor.  (You can read more here)

2.  Eat Spicy Food!  Not sure if this one really works or not, but I love spicy food and if it could possibly help induce labor, I'm all for it!

3.  Walk!  As I mentioned before, I have a 4 year old and a 22 month old, so evening walks are my favorite!  We get some nice quality, family time, it wears the kids out before bed and it hopefully gets me a few steps closer to meeting my baby girl.  Not to mention, it helps me get my lazy, pregnant butt up burn some extra calories.

4.  Sex!  While sex is not the most comfortable thing at this point of my pregnancy, it does prove to help induce labor.  Like the pineapple, semen releases prostaglandin, which is said to stimulate the cervix and possibly cause contractions.

5.  Nipple Stimulation!  This is said to produce a release of oxytocin (the body's natural form of pitocin, which is what doctor's use in order to induce labor in the hospitals).  The release of this oxytocin causes contractions and can ultimately lead to labor.  So get to rubbing those boobies! lol

I've heard of others, such as using Castor Oil, but this is not one that I would actually try out, myself.  Although my mom did it with her third and she went into labor that night (after sitting on a toilet for a couple hours first).  Sorry, but flushing out my intestines and causing intestinal contractions is not my idea of a fun labor, but go for it if you're into that).  Other ways that I've read about, but haven't tried and probably won't try, include: Bumpy car rides, accupressure, raspberry leaf tea, Cohosh and Evening Primrose Oil (which are herbal solutions that can help ripen the cervix) There haven't been enough studies done on herbal use during pregnancy for me to trust that these are completely safe and effective, so definitely consult your doctor before using any of these methods).  

Please feel free to share any methods you may have used or share with us whether any of these actually worked for you.  Wish me luck!

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