You are at the last lap of your pregnancy. While the entire pregnancy has been smooth sailing – you are in good health, the baby has grown well and all your vital parameters are ticking along just fine – you are now impatient for your baby to be born. As each day passes, you feel the urge to urinate more and more, your baby’s weight is pressing in on you, and your back keeps hurting. Plus, you are often too uncomfortable to get a good night’s sleep.
Soon, you start looking for ways to induce labour. However, your doctor might warn you not to try to induce natural labour on your own – listen to your doctor and keep him or her posted about anything you might wish to try. If you would rather not take medication to induce labour, there are a few natural ways you can explore: but ask your doctor first!
* Have sexual intercourse
We’ve all heard about this measure, but does it really work? Doctors believe that having sex promotes the secretion of the prostaglandin hormone, which is the same substance used to induce labour in hospital. This hormone prompts uterine contractions and is released when the male ejaculates inside the vagina. However, care must be taken to see that the water has not broken and that the couple uses the side-to-side position for intercourse.
This is simple physics at work – walking is said to push the baby further down towards your pelvis as gravity works its way. Women who start experiencing contractions but are not dilated enough for labour are also advised to take walks around the room or on non-slippery surfaces till they can feel more pressure on their cervix. However, brisk walking is not permitted because you might be too tired to push during labour, and you might also experience leg cramps.
An ancient Chinese method to induce natural labour, this process helps in the release of oxytocin that prompts contractions. However, at least three to four sessions of acupuncture are required to see any result. It is not recommended for women with elevated blood pressure or gestational diabetes.
Stress can prolong labour and make you uncomfortable. Stress also induces other aches and pains that can deepen your misery. Instead, relax and try to alleviate your anxiety. Have a warm water bath just before bed and drink a cup of warm milk to ease your nerves. Both measures also induce calmness and will help you sleep better. Besides, try and rest during the day, watch a relaxing film or read a funny book to take the edge off your stress.
Besides these, many women try spicy food, herbs like blue cohosh or even drinking several cups of white tea, but these must be tried only on the advice of the doctor. At this stage, you are already quite heavy and you are making frequent trips to the bathroom – eating food or consuming drinks that do not agree with you might induce vomiting and create complications. Instead, tell yourself that it will take only some more time for your baby to be born, and waiting for natural labour is safer for both of you.