Today I’m 39+3 days into my pregnancy and starting to bounce of the walls in anticipation for birth. The biggest piece of advice I’ve received is to sit back and enjoy the time before the baby comes. Sleep in, read a book, take leisurely strolls, paint my nails and all the lovely things I now have time to do. Because once our family grows I will wish for those little moments again, especially the sleep.
So what am I doing with my extra free time? Reading blogs, forums and Twitter posts on how to bring on labour naturally. I feel a ‘told you so’ coming on over the next few months, but until then, here is my list of labour inducing tips…
Little hormone called Oxytocin
Labelled the “hormone of love” due to its link with lovemaking and fertility, Oxytocin is said to bring on contractions during labour and later responsible for the release of milk in breastfeeding. During our NCT classes were were shown a number of massage techniques that would help release this wondrous drug. So each night my husband has been giving me lovely back massages in the hope it will get the ball rolling. Throwing in a little nipple stimulation won’t go amiss either.
If you have read my previous post, you will know that sex is currently off the table at the moment. However it is one of the most popular ways of bringing on labour. Not only does it help release Oxytocin, your orgasm could stimulate your womb to get your labour going. Semen may also help soften or ripen your cervix as it contains contains a high number of prostaglandins, which are chemicals that can help to relax tissues. These are also used in inductions.
Spicy Food (keep the Gaviscon close)
There is no medical evidence to suggest a trip to your local spicy take-away will help bring on labour, however it is still highly ranked as a ‘must try’ tip. Coming from a family that adds chilli’s & spices to anything and everything, I have cousins who have still gone over their due date. Therefore I think I will give this heartburn inducing tip a miss.
I have been eating fresh pineapple every week since getting pregnant, at one point almost everyday. Therefore I am dubious as to whether this tropical fruit has the necessary powers. Pineapple contains an enzyme that is said to soften your cervix and trigger labour. It is also said to stimulate your stomach, which may help to get your contractions going. Oh ok, maybe I’ll try in one last time.
Sweep & Stretch
This Friday will be my week 40 appointment with my One to One Midwife and I’m hoping for a stretch and sweep. This is an internal examination to which she will sweep a finger around my cervix separating the membranes of the amniotic sac surrounding our baby. This separation releases hormones (prostaglandins) which may kick-start my labour. This procedure increases the chances of me going into labour within the next 48 hours, however I have friends who after 2/3 such sweeps were still induced.
I guess the moral of the story is…the baby will come when its ready. Only mother nature knows my due date and unless I receive medical intervention, I need to let fate run its course. x