For most women, pregnancy is forty long weeks of aches and pains, physical and emotional highs and lows, and a myriad of issues many women would have never thought would be associated with pregnancy.
As a result of all this, it is no wonder most women begin to count down to the real "labor day" in the last month or so of pregnancy.
And once the due date is imminent, or (horror of all horrors) has passed, moms-to-be may be looking for natural ways to induce labor to start.
While there are no sure-fire ways to jump-start the labor process, as each woman and pregnancy is different, there are some things women can try to hurry things along a bit. However, before giving these methods a shot, be sure to check in with a medical professional to make sure the baby is as ready to be born as Mom is to see the little bundle of joy.
There are times when babies do just need more time “in the oven”. After getting the thumbs up from the doctor, here are a few tried and tested methods to induce labor naturally:
1. Have sex.
It's been said that what got the woman into her "situation" is what will get her out of it. Though a very pregnant woman might not feel at her sexiest, having sexual intercourse can and does bring on contractions.
Sperm contains hormones called prostaglandins that can help thin and dilate the cervix, which gets it ready for delivery. For women who are able to orgasm, they will experience a release of the hormone oxytocin, which is known to trigger contractions.
Not quite as fun as having sex but walking can help the baby get in a better position to be born. The motion of the gait along with the swaying of the hips, and the forces of gravity, helps to draw the baby deeper into the Mom’s pelvis.
The baby may then put extra pressure on the Mom’s cervix, priming it for labor. For women who are having irregular contractions or who are in early labor, walking is highly recommended as a natural alternative to speed up the process.
3. Get a massage.
There has been research done on how a massage can raise the level of oxytocin in one’s body.