You are at the point of your pregnancy when you should be going into labor, but nothing is happening. It’s getting harder to walk, you haven’t seen your own feet in a month, the baby’s room is ready, and you are stuck in waiting agony. Before you despair, you can try one or all of the various tips that women have used to start pregnancy labor. Note, however, that you should not even consider trying to induce labor until you are around 40 weeks along, because your due date could be wrong. While it’s not good to be overdue, you don’t want to give birth before the baby is ready, either.
What got you into this situation can get you out of it as well. Sex can help your labor begin because a man’s semen contains the hormone prostaglandin, which can help soften the cervix and stimulate contractions.
Walking can help when you have started having contractions but are not progressing. By standing upright, gravity moves the baby into position better, as can the motion of your hips swaying while walking.
Eating spicy food has its pros and cons. Typically, you don’t want to have a full stomach when you are going to deliver, because your body will get rid of the food in one way or another during labor. Some women say, however, that eating a spicy meal brings on labor, according to Lisa Rodriguez, R.N., and Dr. Marjorie Greenfield in an article on the Dr. Spock website.
Castor oil has a mixed bag of support when it comes to helping start the process of labor. Rodriguez and Greenfield recommend that women take 1 to 4 oz. of castor oil, mixed with 6 oz. of orange juice. The oil can help by causing spasms in the intestines, which surround the uterus near the end of your pregnancy. On the other hand, KidsHealth says that it is not safe to take castor oil because it can lead to nausea, diarrhea and dehydration.
Nipple stimulation works by releasing the hormone oxytocin, the natural form of Pitocin, which causes contractions. Nipple stimulation is controversial because it can lead to slowing of the fetal heart rate. This occurs when the uterus becomes overstimulated and doesn’t get enough rest during contractions. Before trying this method, you should discuss it with your doctor.
If you are overdue, your doctor has ways to help induce the pregnancy. Stripping the membranes, where the doctor inserts a finger into your vagina to separate the amniotic sac from the uterus, works with some women. Other women have the doctor break their water, which usually brings on labor in a few hours. You can take the hormones prostaglandin or Pitocin at the hospital to try to induce labor. Understand that if you induce labor when your body is not ready to deliver, the induction may fail and you may require a C-section, according to KidsHealth.
- pregnant woman image by TEA from Fotolia.com