STIMULATE PRESSURE POINTS & INCREASE BLOOD FLOW
Acupuncture can help more blood flow to your uterine muscles. Recommendations: Geneseed & Propper Acupuncture
Certain pressure points in our body can stimulate uterine contractions - the webbing between your thumb and your finger and two inches above your inner ankle on both feet. Massage with Clary Sage essential oil. The aroma is said to have contraction inducing properties.
Oxytocin, the love hormone, kickstarts labor and uterine contractions!
Nipple Stimulation helps to produce oxytocin. Manual nipple stimulation is great as well as using your breast pump for 10 minutes of each side a few times a day can help!
Sex not only stimulates the production of oxytocin but if you have a male partner, prostaglandins in semen can help soften the cervix.
Walking & Climbing Stairs
Walking helps to open your pelvis and the more you move, the more you allow baby to move and descend into your pelvis. Climbing stairs is another great way to help open your pelvis and encourage baby to move.
These movements can help loosen ligaments, reset your pelvis and encourage baby to shift position
Squats, Pelvic Circles, Figure 8s, Swaying your hips from side to side
Think of your pelvis as a sieve. In order for baby to move down, movement from side to side can help!
Bounce on a Yoga Ball
Bring movement to your baby and encourage them to lower into your pelvis! Check out this mom!
I’ve heard that belly dancing came to be to help encourage labor. i’m not sure if there’s any truth to that rumor but moving your hips certainly can’t hurt!
EMPTY YOUR BOWELS & BLADDER
Create more space for baby to move down and stimulate uterine contractions
Ingesting one tablespoon of castor oil (a natural laxative) mixed with 4 ounces of orange juice to dilute can help. Can cause diarrhea so please stay hydrated!
If you have done at home enema’s before, it can help to empty your bowels and stimulate contractions. I would not recommend this unless you’ve done this before!
EAT & DRINK
Lots of fluids, empty your bladder often. Raspberry Leaf tea is known to help uterine contractions. We instinctively release our pelvic floor in the bathroom and know to let go.
Pineapple, Papaya, Black Licorice (Panda Brand) to stimulate the production of prostaglandins. Spicy food can also help empty your bowels.
Evening Primrose oil
Can be applied on the perineum or ingested in pill form can help to release prostaglandins.
Sometimes, our mind can get in the way. We’re so used to planning and having a schedule that when confronted with an experience that we can’t fully control can lead to stress and worry. The exact opposite of the warm cuddly oxytocin feelings that can help labor. Take a bath, meditate, get a massage whatever helps you relax and let go.
This is a procedure where a medical professional manually separated the bag of waters from the cervix to stimulate the release of prostaglandins. Check with your care provider if this is right for you. If you’re scheduled for an induction, asking for this procedure a few days prior may cause labor to start spontaneously.
METHODS OF INDUCTION
An instrument that is inserted in the cervix and manually helps dilatation. It stays in the cervix until it is able to easily be removed when dilation reaches bout 5cms. It can be uncomfortable but allows you not to take medications.
Such as Cervadil are inserted in the cervix. They can cause nausea and abdominal cramps
Artificial oxytocin delivered via IV. Usually used as a last resort to induce labor, once you are on Pitocin, you are required to be monitored on the Electronic Fetal Monitor at all times and contractions via Pitocin can be quite painful leading many to get an epidural. You can also read about the side effects of Pitocin here. Without the epidural however, you can still move and walk for pain relief. To avoid labor stalling early on I recommend using your natural pain management techniques for as long as you can, if the contractions become unbearable or you really need to rest, then an epidural is helpful. Know what to expect from an epidural here.
Artificial Rupture of Membranes
This is called breaking your water and it’s usually done by a medical professional with an amnihook. Also only recommended as a last resort, once contractions are well under way. Once your water is broken, often you’re put on a time clock and the baby must be born within 24 hours or so. You are also more prone to infections if the water has broken.