Walking is a wonderful, natural way to induce labor at the end of pregnancy. A pregnancy is considered full term between 38 to 40 weeks and no effort should be made to induce labor before this point. Walking will not bring on labor unless your body is ready. But it can encourage contractions to get stronger and more regular if you are already having them.
Why Does Walking Induce Labor?
Walking uses the pull of gravity to pull the baby down and put gentle pressure on the cervix to encourage it to dilate. The rocking motion that happens when you walk helps move the baby into the correct position for birth. Walking will only induce labor if a woman’s body is ready to give birth. It can strengthen contractions if they exist already, and help them to become more regular.
Walking to Induce Labor
Most expectant mothers are more comfortable being close to family members and friends towards the end of pregnancy. Walking around the house can help encourage labor to start without taking an expectant mother too far from home. Every day tasks such as checking the mail, walking around the kitchen and standing up to perform household tasks may help induce labor. Walking around local stores or walking around your neighborhood is a great way to get some exercise at the end of pregnancy and encourage labor to start. If you are worried about walking on your own, take someone with you who can help you get home if labor starts quickly.
Walking the Stairs
Stairs can be a great way to get some extra walking in without leaving the house. The action of lifting your lefts as you climb the stairs can help the baby descent into the correct position for birth and put gentle pressure on the cervix in order to start the dilating process.
Walking on Uneven Surfaces
Walking on uneven surfaces, such as placing one foot on the curb and one foot on the street, can help rock the baby lower and encourage the cervix to dilate. Maintaining balance can be difficult at the end of pregnancy. Take slow steps or hold someone’s hand for support to minimize the risk of falling.