Your delivery date is here, and you have already made hospital bookings, and packed your hospital bag. You feel like your belly is about to burst but you feel no signs of labour yet. Why not give a gentle nudge to your baby and induce labour on your own? There are various ways of inducing labour pain safely to ensure a successful delivery.
Try to stimulate your nipples by gently rubbing them with your fingers or by using a breast pump. Doing so will trigger the release of oxytocin hormone which will cause contractions in your uterus leading to labour pain. When you feel that contractions have started, let things happen on their own.
Physical activity during pregnancy
Indulge in some physical activity like walking to induce labour. This might help your baby’s head to drop down lower and put a little pressure on your cervix. Take bigger steps while walking to put more pressure on your cervix and bring on some contractions.
Labour inducing foods
Eat foods that help in inducing labour. For example, have pineapple as it contains bromelain enzyme which helps to soften the cervix and bring on labour. It also stimulates the gut and bowel movement, and thus, helps to kick-start your uterus into action.
Evening primrose oil
Evening primrose oil (EPO) has gamma linolenic acid that is converted to prostaglandins in a pregnant body. Prostaglandins help in softening the cervix of a pregnant woman for smooth delivery of your baby. It is not a guaranteed way to induce natural labour.
This technique involves insertion of needles into specific points known as acupuncture points of a pregnant woman's body. It is believed that the procedure of acupuncture stimulates the energy within her body, and acts on specific organs to induce contractions. If you seek this method, make sure to seek the assistance of an acupuncture specialist.
Homeopathic medicines such as pulsatilla can help in stimulating labour pains. Make sure you ask your doctor before having any kind of herbal or homeopathic medicines.
Herbs such as blue cohosh and black cohosh can also have a much stronger effect than certain homeopathic remedies. Be careful while consuming these herbs during your pregnancy as these have been linked to complications during childbirth.
Taking a spoonful of castor oil stimulates the bowels and can cause uterine contractions. But you might end up making frequent trips to the toilet, rather than a trip to the hospital for delivery. This is not a guaranteed method either.
This is another way to start labour pains. A sexual intercourse generates orgasm causing contractions in the uterus. In addition, semen contains prostaglandins, which helps soften the cervix and prepares your body for labour.
More Ways to Bring on Labour Pains
- You can try blowing up balloons as this might build up enough abdominal pressure for you to undergo labour.
- Use your birth ball to exercise and bring on labour.
- Eating spicy food may bring on contractions.
Inducing the Labour Medically
If you are overdue by 8-10 days or more, your OB may decide to induce labour to avoid complications related to an overdue delivery. Membranes sweeping or stripping, rupturing the membranes, inserting Foley catheter, using the hormones oxytocin and prostaglandins are the methods used to induce the labour medically.
It can be risky to try to induce labour without your doctor’s advice. Be extremely sure that you are not risking yours or your baby’s life. Seek all the information from your OB weeks before your delivery date for it will explain to you and your partner all the details and possibilities in advance.