So far in my doula training, several mothers have asked me how to start labor naturally. There are many reasons why a mom might want to start labor on or around the time of her estimated due date (EDD) and there are options out there to try!
When reading this material, it is important to keep in mind that babies come when they want. There is a very specific combination of hormones, gestation time, and timing that dictate when a baby is ready to enter the world. However, if you would like to get labor going and it has been advised by your health care professional, here are some techniques to try.
It is important that you don’t overwhelm yourself by trying every technique, but instead, use techniques that appeal most to you. Remember, no amount of tips or techniques will replace the “right” time for your baby to enter this world.
- Raspberry leaf tincture can be used to bring on labor and cause contractions of the uterus, whereas red raspberry leaf tea can be used as uterine tonic throughout pregnancy.
- Evening primrose oil can be taken as an oral supplement, 500 mg daily for the last 3 weeks of pregnancy which can soften and efface the cervix
- Spicy food can cause contractions of the uterus
- Both intercourse and orgasm help bring on labor. Intercourse causes the cervix to release prostaglandins which naturally effaces the cervix and semen contains prostaglandins as well. Orgasms can also cause uterine contractions.
- Nipple stimulation can cause the body to produce oxytocin which can lead to uterine contractions.
- Another technique to try is walking for 30 minutes and then resting for 30 minutes, in order to help move fluid throughout the body and increase awareness of the body to the pelvic pressure that presently exists.
- Eating well and staying hydrated is essential.
- Talking to the baby, using hypnosis, and/or visualizations can help calm both mother and baby.
- Getting things ready for the baby (i.e. setting up the nursery) are great ways to reduce anxiety and create space for your baby’s arrival.
- Minimizing distractions.
- Doing pre-natal yoga can help prepare the body both physically and mentally for labor
If you have any questions or would like more details on the options I presented, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly. Talk to you all soon and happy birthing!