When your pregnancy goes well beyond the due date, your doctor could recommend chemical induction. The use of medication to artificially start or induce labor should be resorted to, only if the pregnancy jeopardizes the health of the mother or the baby. This is because, in up to half the cases, chemical induction leads to a Cesarean birth, or the use of the vacuum method. A Cesarean delivery keeps you doped, and confined to your bed in the first few days of your baby’s life, and you may also face difficulties in breast-feeding. A vacuum delivery may dislocate the baby’s shoulder.
There are some natural ways to induce labor, in order to avoid medical induction.
One of the most commonly used is nipple stimulation, which leads to the release of a hormone called oxytocin. The synthetic version of oxytocin is commonly used to chemically induce labor. A bumpy car ride works for at least some, and so does having sex. Exercise, such as walking, using a swing, belly dancing, using a hoola hoop, and squatting for a short while, helps your baby to descend better and your cervix to dilate. This in turn increases your own natural oxytocin release, which brings on labor.
Relaxing to reduce muscle tension is also very important, because tension and stress can get in the way of your labor. Meditation and visualization are excellent ways not only to relax, but also to get labor started. Your imagination and subconscious mind are powerful tools. Just by thinking of your favorite food you start to feel hungry or by imagining something scary you become terrified. Likewise, focusing your mind on labor helps to bring it on and progress with it.
Taking in herbs like blue or black cohosh should always be under the supervision of a doctor or a herbalist, because these herbs can be poisonous. Blue cohosh can be harmful for the baby’s heart, and black can lead to excess hemorrhaging during labor. Drinking cumin or red raspberry leaf tea, or applying evening primrose oil locally on the cervix can also be tried, although there is no evidence that these remedies actually help in starting up labor.
The only natural labor inducing remedy, which has been shown to work, is acupressure. This simple method of pressing specific spots on your skin has the ability to start labor in most mothers with overdue pregnancies.
Not only has labor acupressure been proven to be effective, it is also safe. There is no risk that acupressure done observing its basic rules, could harm the mother or the baby. What is great is that you can use some of these same labor acupressure methods to get relief from labor pains and certain other discomforts during labor.
To use acupressure, all you need to know is how to press certain points on your body. This is so simple, that it can be done by the father of the baby, or anyone else, who is helping you out with the delivery. Acupressure is a method that does not over-stimulate your body. You just can’t administer too much of it, as your body takes in only what it needs to function optimally.
Labor acupressure not only gets the contractions going, but also ripens the cervix, and helps to descend the baby. It helps in reducing labor pain, and so you can say goodbye to an excess drug dosage, or an epidural. This means that you can be alert and loving and ready to hold your baby in your arms as soon as the delivery is over.
Before you use acupressure to induce labor at home, ensure that you have reached the 41st week of pregnancy. And, of course, have your bag packed and ready – using acupressure really produces results!