Natural Labor Induction

Considered Safe and Effective by your Midwife

Natural labor induction is great if your baby is ready to come out. If you are a natural mom who wants a natural birth and your baby is "well baked" and need to get out - a natural induction is the way to go.

This was my situation. I was nine days overdue and two days away from a chemical induction - for the safety of my baby. As a mama who likes to stay as natural as possible - I dreaded a chemical induction being well aware of the risks and side effects of such thanks to my midwife.

Did you know that by having a chemical induction - whether it be a drug administered by intravenous or a topical gel some of the possible problems are fetal distress, fever, diarrhea, and possible hemorrhage after birth - to name a few?

natural labor induction- aromatherapy

Having done some research I found out there are some natural things you can do. Some to prime your body for labor and some other things to actually induce the labor naturally. With a little understanding of how the body works and what "sets" off labor some of these ideas really make sense. Remember, though, if your body is not already close to labor these will not work.

Less than four hours after what I would call natural labor induction, thanks to my mid wife , I went into labor and three hours later my babe was out! Wow, did it work for me! But, remember, the key is that my body and my baby were both ready.

Following are some natural suggestions:

  • Walking is recommended as your body's way of naturally getting the baby in position. Gravity helps your baby drop into your pelvis which puts pressure on your cervix and helps to start things off.
  • Red raspberry leaf tea. Although not an inducer it helps tone the uterus and makes contractions more effective.

  • Evening primrose oil helps soften the cervix.
  • Semen contains prostaglandins which help soften the cervix. This renders sex feasible for natural labor induction.
  • Herbs - blue and black cohosh can strengthen contractions to induce labor but also have some very dangerous additional results. Damage to the heart of the baby and uncontrollable hemorrhaging in the mother renders this method unwise and better left alone.
  • Castor oil is a strong laxative that stimulates the bowels which can then irritate your uterus causing contractions. This method,though, might result in a tired "almost mama" being further drained by sitting on the toilet for a long time and more dangerously becoming very dehydrated.
  • Aromatherapy prompts the start of labor for some ladies. Clary sage is said to work well if the body and baby are ready.
  • Enemas are said to work in a similar fashion to what castor oil does, but not as severe.
  • Pineapple contains a chemical that contains a prostaglandin that helps ripen the cervix.
  • Eating spicy foods stimulates your bowels which can irritate your uterus and cause contractions. The downside of trying this is the heartburn it causes.
  • Acupuncture and acupressure are two techniques of natural labor induction that many say really work. Acupressure is non invasive using pressure points and acupuncture uses needles to trigger those pressure points. The two main spots on the body for accupressure are the webbing at the thumb as well as the inside of the calf about four fingers above the ankle.
  • Membrane stripping otherwise known as 'stretch and sweep' is my personal favorite kind of natural labor induction because it worked for me, and boy did it work! It involves gently sweeping the membranes away from the cervix (a similar feel to a pelvic exam) which releases prostaglandins and has a good success rate in inducing labor.

Some don't consider stripping membranes as natural labor induction because it involves medical intervention, but it felt natural to me because there are no chemicals involved.

I know this technique works because it worked for me. My baby was out seven hours after having my membranes stripped!

I found emphasized again and again in my research the importance of not trying to induce "just because". Your baby needs to grow in you until he or she is "fully baked" so to speak - ready to live on the "outside". Keep in mind that due dates are given based on your last cycle and that is presumed to be a 28 day cycle. Your body may not have followed that kind of cookie cutter cycle.

If you are overdue, though, it could be dangerous to your baby to stay inside you. How so?

If a pregnancy is at forty two weeks the placenta could be getting "old" and not effectively be giving the baby what it needs - oxygen and nutrients. This kind of baby is considered to be "post mature" and in very great danger. If a pregnancy gets to this point the baby needs to come out.

That's the situation I was in. Although I had chosen what I thought to be the lesser of the evils in chemical induction, the gel - if all else failed, I was so glad my midwife informed me of natural labor induction.

Not all of these methods of natural induction are equal. Some pregnant mamas don't see results or they find one suggestion to work far better than another. Talk to your midwife about your options and ask for her input as to what she recommends.

Does your baby need to come out for an important reason determined by your health care provider? Are you planning a natural birth and want to avoid chemical induction? Then try these natural labor induction techniques. If both of you are ready and it works you will be happy you did things the natural way for the comfort and safety of your baby.

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