There are things that you can actively do to start your labour naturally and to help get your body ready. The following tips will help you send the right signals to your baby, hormones, uterus and cervix to bring on your labour.
Most of us get to a point in our pregnancy of feeling (very) ripe and about to pop. And by having the due date marked on our calendar and mind for nine months, we are counting down the days and hours. It gets more and more intense as we arrive closer to the estimated due date and if that day also passes by without any signs of labour, it can become a bit of a mental battle.
My best advice to start labour naturally is to ‘keep doing life’ and keep doing ‘stuff’ but do things you enjoy; rest, eat great food and be with people you love. The happier we feel, the better! Being relaxed will lead you to your baby when the time is right.
My best tips to start your labour naturally:
- Drinking Raspberry leaf tea from 35 weeks or even better get the actual herbal extract for a more therapeutic effect. You can get it by contacting me here.
- Sex, kisses and nipple stimulation can help to release your love hormone ‘oxytocin’ that is part of a very finely orchestrated dance between your baby’s ‘ready’ signals and your hormones. So get busy with your lover!
- Eat six dates daily from 36 weeks. There is a compound in dates that mimics the hormone oxytocin which you need for labour induction. Dates also provide fibre and nutrients, so it is a great snack. A study showed that women who ate six dates daily before their due date had a significantly higher mean cervical dilatation upon admission, less rupture of membranes, and lastly spontaneous labour occurred in 96% of those who consumed dates, compared with 79%. It also showed that the use of a sytocin injection was significantly lower.
- Get active such as walking and yoga helps to position your baby nicely in your pelvis and can then assist in the initiation of labour. Sitting for long periods of time without stretching and movement is not as helpful to initiate labour.
- Acupuncture has several benefits to supporting labour induction. It can help balance your body and help get your body ready for labour by stimulating your uterus and ripen your cervix. It is generally recommended to start acupuncture around the 36th-week mark.
- Meditation and visualisation go inwards and visualise how you’d like the labour and birth to be. By going inwards, you spend less time in the part of your brain that blocks labour, namely your neocortex. It is very important to be relaxed and joyful leading up to labour. Stress and adrenaline are not conducive to a smooth labour. So start to visualise yourself joyful, peaceful and fully supported while labouring and giving birth.
Remember that all of these suggestions are supportive of your body’s natural progression – your baby is going to send out a final signal (enzyme) when the lungs have fully developed. If you are planning a natural birth your baby is going to benefit greatly if you are calm, happy and prepared. Together, you and your baby will work the magic of birth.
Always speak with your care provider if you are in doubt whether some these remedies are suitable for you and your pregnancy.