Six Safe Methods To Induce Labour On Your Own.
There are healthy activities you can engage in to induce labour when the delivery date has come and passed.
You have let your loved ones in on your due date, yet the date has come and gone and you still don't feel like the little one is even gearing up to say hello to the world. Whether you are itching to hold your baby in your arms or you are simply tired of being pregnant, there are simple techniques you can use to induce labour yourself.
However, you don't want to induce labour before the baby is ready to come out. Even in the final weeks, the fetus continues its development. So even when things get super uncomfortable you should wait for 39-40 weeks before considering inducing labour yourself. But the due date is not always clear-cut. In some cases, your due date could be inaccurate by a few weeks. So if you start your labour before 39-40 weeks you might give birth to a premature baby.
Additionally, your body needs to be ready for the techniques that can cause you to have contractions and begin labour to work. If your body isn't ready you just might be trying in vain.
How to induce labour yourself
So if you are sure you're around 40 weeks in, here are eight ways to hasten things up.
Stimulate your nipples
When the nipple is stimulated, the pituitary gland releases oxytocin. This same hormone that initiates your milk response can lead to cramp-inducing labour when stimulated for 1-3 hours daily. Oxytocin is an effective way to induce labour.
According to a study, 40 per cent of those who stimulated their nipples for 1 to 3 hours daily had their babies within three days, while only 6 per cent of the control group gave birth. 719 women at 37 weeks participated in the study.
However, for all the exploits of nipple stimulation, most experts are not very keen about this method of inducing labour. This is because you run the risk of overstimulating your nipples. And if this happens, contractions can be too strong, which can slow the heart rate of the fetus.
Take castor oil or evening primrose
Supplements like castor oil, blue and black cohosh, evening primrose can help the inducing of labour by helping the cervix to become thin and dilate. The action prepares it for labour. Primrose oil capsules are either taken or inserted into the vagina.
But you must be very careful, for there might be side effects or complications. Castor oil is a primary laxative and things could go both ways. It might simply work to hasten your baby's arrival or cause bowel spasm.
Unfortunately, the jury is out on this one. There are no concrete studies to show how much of it works.
Ask some women and they'd tell you that good old sex was all the encouragement the baby needed to come on out and meet its mother. A woman's orgasm can cause uterine contractions and the man's semen contains fats that soften the cervix. It is known as prostaglandins. So if you're using this technique, stay lying down and position your hip at an elevation that can help the semen stay on the cervix.
Take a walk
Taking a walk is the commonest practice of inducing labour among women. It is a common occurrence in Nigeria to hear a woman telling another to take a walk to induce labour. Just walking can actually help pull the baby down to 4th our pelvis. The swaying of your hips and gravity are responsible for this. Then the pressure built as a result of the baby's position on your cervix can induce labour.
But even if walking doesn't induce labour as you hoped it would, the effort isn't wasted. The exercise prepares you for when the delivery finally comes.
Eat some spicy food
There's no study or evidence to buttress this, but some people believe that spicy food is capable of inducing labour. Ofe nsala (white soup) is the recommendation of most older women to the younger ones in Nigeria. The thinking behind this is that spicy foods cause your uterus to contract by working your intestines.
If you're all tensed up, trying too hard to induce labour, it might not work. So cultivate a relaxed environment where you can equally relax. Do something fun that can help you relax. Go to the movies, go for a manicure, go get your favourite ice-cream, etc.
Read also: Healthy Foods That Induce Labour Naturally