We’ve all heard it before, from about a week from your due date to the day you go into labour: walk a lot, eat spicy food, and have sex! Although I personally believe the best way to induce labour is to wait for it to happen naturally, or via medication prescribed by a doctor, I know that there are many people out there who believe otherwise, so I’ve made a list of possibilities.
Note: Before trying any of the following home remedies, TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR OR MIDWIFE.
Exercise or Walk
This is usually the first thing people suggest when you start approaching your due date, in fact it was the first thing my own doctor suggested for me. Apparently the movement of walking and/or exercise can help settle your baby into your pelvis, known as dropping. I would imagine the key to this would be to not over-do it, due to the fact that if you do go into labour, you are now exhausted from walking/exercising so much. You still need to save your energy for the big day!
Eating Spicy food
This is an extremely popular belief, yet there is no scientific proof to support it. If you are like me, you can’t stand the thought of setting your mouth on fire with food, so why would you attempt this option? Eating spicy food, as most of us have probably experienced, gets your digestive tract moving, fast! And since majority of women poop during labour anyway, I see no reason to even attempt this. Although, some think that your digestive system can help kick start contractions.
This is one of the more believable labour inducing remedies, as semen contains prostaglandins, which is the same hormone found in the medications used by doctors to medically induce labour. Although, my doctor says that with the amount of prostaglandins that are actually in semen, if this remedy works, you were probably going to go into labour anyway.
They say a table spoon of castor oil or two will help the process of labour. When ingested orally, castor oil is used as a laxative to clean out your intestines before a bowel examination or surgery. So, again, I cannot understand for the life of me why anyone would want to take this in the weeks or even days before they go into labour. But, again, if you believe that digestive movements may help you go into labour, by all means, this option is out there, and there are people who swear it works. Although, castor oil can do great things for your skin and hair, so if that is what you are looking for, google that instead!
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Stimulating the breasts
According to my doctor, there have been recent studies that have shown quite the promise for this option. Stimulating the nipples and breasts releases a hormone called oxytocin, which plays a part in inducing labour. Pitocin is a synthetic version of oxytocin, and is used by doctors to medically induce labour. It has been suggested that women trying to induce labour at home massage each breast (as if they are trying to get their milk to come in) twice a day for 15 minutes each.
It is said that both acupuncture and acupressure help to induce by relaxing your body and muscles and help prepare them for all the work they are about to do during labour. These methods are supposed to unblock any stagnant energy to help the baby get into the right position. They can also help to stimulate the thyroid, digestive system and reproductive system.
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