Natural Labor Induction Techniques

There are many reasons why one would want to induce their own labor. Typically women are overdue and are facing a looming medical induction that is sparking fear, concern and a pressure.

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You may be eager to start labor because you are just tired of feeling enormous, itchy, cranky, anxious, or you cannot sleep or the phone just won’t stop ringing? Maybe getting this baby out will mean that you have more time to spend with your little one on maternity leave? Unfortunately these emotions do little to start labor!

Take a deep breath…I want to assure you that your baby is coming out soon. Trust that he / she has a plan and will be here and before you know it.

 If you are post your due date and you have the OKAY from your midwife or OB then it is safe to try these natural techniques to get your labor started.

1.  Acupuncture: (see full acupuncture article)

2. Intercourse / Orgasm: 

You got the baby in that way, now lets get the baby out! Sex is a great way to stimulate labor. Semen contains natural prostaglandins that help efface the cervix. Female orgasm can also help stimulate contractions while releasing the hormone oxytocin, the love hormone. Oxytocin plays an important role in the neuroanatomy of intimacy, specifically in sexual reproduction, in particular during and after childbirth. It is released in large amounts after distension of the cervix and uterus during labor, facilitating birth, maternal bonding, and, after stimulation of the nipples, lactation.

 3. Acupressure:

Acupressure is a profound way to encourage the baby downwards. Please see my acupressure videos for step by step guide on how to stimulate specific points to aid in the baby’s decent as well as uterine contractions, cervical effacement, etc.

 4. Meditation / Visualization:

This is particularly effective if you think stress may be holding you back. Many people discuss feeling anxious about the impending labor or how they will be able to know how to take care of the baby once home. Some women feel stressed by finishing up loose ends at work, family members coming to town etc.

Others (and this I find more common) are nervous about how their first child will take the birth of a sibling? Also, these women may have fears about their previous birthing experience or may be more fatigued with less time for themselves. In this situation meditation or guided meditation may be particularly useful.

 5. Dancing:

DSC_0089Early Polynesian Hawaii Photos Hula Dancers

Many dances since the begin of time were designed to entice using hip circles and undulating rhythms. Dance movements help open the hips, loosen hip flexors and hopefully help the baby descend. These same movements are useful for getting the baby out. Bellydancing, hula, salsa, samba, African dance or just plain old cranking up the music and letting it out. Even if you dance like Elaine on Seinfeld who cares? Let the muse take you and enjoy letting it all out.

6. Loose jaw / Loose Hips:

Some would say the best athletes have the loosest jaws. A loose jaw equals loose hips. A clenched jaw equals clenched hips. Ever watch Michael Jordan run the court with his mouth open effortlessly calm under pressure leading to what Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi calls “Flow”? Once you get in the groove you will hit “Flow” period where time and space will disappear and things will progress. Relax your jaw by opening and closing your mouth while relaxing the muscles in your face.

7. A Good Cry.

I’ve seen a lot of women go into labor after a cathartic crying session. As the tears roll out so does the stress and tension that may be holding one back. This also relates to the meditation and anxiety suggestion. Check in with yourself and see if you have anything holding you back from taking the next step in your life? Do a little inner investigation.

8. Primrose Oil:

You can start by taking Primrose Oil orally around 37 weeks gestation. You can take 1-500mg capsule daily orally or vaginally from 37 weeks to 40 weeks. At 40 weeks gestation you can insert 3 capsules daily. I usually recommend popping open the oil capsule before insertion. 

Raspberry Leaf Tea:

Drink to your heart’s content. Used to help organize contractions and tone the muscles of the uterus.

9. Nipple Stimulation: see Sex and Orgasm.

10. Walking:

Exercise is great to help things along, especially if you are in early labor. Don’t be excessive because you will need the energy for labor and delivery. A nice walk outside in nature is best.

11. Enema:

Moving the bowels can help make more space in the abdominal area so the baby can drop lower into the pelvis. The body naturally clears out before the baby arrives. Often women notice softer and more frequent bowel movements leading up to labor. An enema can be a simple way to get things moving in the right direction.

12. Foods:

Spicy Food:

High in capsaicin, spicy peppers are touted as being a great labor inducer. Possibly because peppers stimulate digestion or diarrhea which can trigger labor? There is no real medical evidence but if you aren’t suffering from heartburn give the Mexican, Thai or Szhechuan a try?

Pineapple:

Pineapple is high in Bromelain which is a natural anti-inflammitory in addition to encouraging prostaglandin synthesis. Bromelain is traditionally used as a meat tenderizer, I think of Bromelain as a muscle relaxant.

Eggplant Parmagiano:

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In Traditional Chinese Medicine eggplant is good for the uterus, possibly because of it’s shape?

Many believe that eggplant parm stimulates contractions not just by the eggplant alone but the synergy of garlic, basil and oregano?

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