Friday, 20 January 2017

Being Prepared Part 5: Old Wives Tales For Inducing Labour Naturally

It's the 20th of January and it's my due date. I was already pretty impatient in the run up to the "due date", but now that we've reached it, it really is time for me to try everything I can to get labour going. I feel like it's especially urgent, as I seem to be feeling worse. Heartburn and acid reflux have been the bane of my third trimester experience and I now have added nausea and lower back pain. Things are starting to feel increasingly hopeless. As I keep saying to my long suffering husband: I just want Xiaobao here.

Now, I know that these are unlikely to work, but given that my hospital like to induce at 40 weeks +12 days, I would really like this labour to start naturally, if possible. So here are some of the methods I have tried so far, with a little bit of information on how they are supposed to work:
  • Spicy food
    When waiting for labour, almost everyone will tell you to have a curry. The theory is that spicy food stimulates your stomach and so could also stimulate your uterus into contracting. I can safely say, given the amount of spicy food I have eaten in the last two weeks, that I don't think this works. All I have gotten is extra indigestion, heart burn and acid reflux.
  • PineappleI loved pineapple before the third trimester. Now for this old wives tale to work, you would need to eat seven fresh pineapples. Yes, SEVEN. In one go. I don't think I could do that. Grazing on pineapple definitely hasn't worked though and just leaves me feeling ill after.
  • Sex
    Sex encourages the release of oxytocin, which in turn triggers contractions. Orgasms could also trigger contractions, as your uterus will already be contracting from the orgasm. Sperm is also supposed to soften the cervix. Too bad it's really uncomfortable with a 40 week bump.
  • Nipple Stimulation
    Not up for sex? Try nipple stimulation. By mimicking the sensation of your baby suckling, your body releases oxytocin, which should start contractions. (Noticing a pattern?)
  • Walking/Bouncing on a birthing ball/Going over speed bumps
    Walking lots encourages baby to move down on to your cervix, which should help to thin your cervix and stimulate the release of, yes that's right, more oxytocin. This is the method I am currently going with, although I am a lot slower that I used to be and become tired easily. A walk to my local charity shop or around my local park helps to make the day less monotonous, at least. Bouncing on your birthing ball or going over speed bumps in the car may have a similar effect.
There are obviously some methods for inducing labour missing, such as aromatherapy, hypnosis, acupuncture, homeopathy etc. This is partially because trying them on my own could be dangerous or I would rather wait than make an appointment to have a consultation with a professional. 

What methods did you try? Did they work for you? Do you have any more I could try before the 12 days are up? Let me know in the comments below.

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