How To Start Labor Naturally And Safely

by | August 8, 2018

40 weeks and no baby? Here are some simple ways to help bring start labor naturally.

You’ve been waiting for this moment for 40 long weeks, and no its here and your baby is nowhere to be seen. You’ve got your birth plan ready, your bag packed, and you’re waiting for the first contraction to start. There are lots of theories about how to naturally kickstart your labor, but only a few of them have a little scientific evidence to back them up. There is also a couple that are considered unsafe and should be avoided.

Acupuncture 

Acupuncture, or having a certified professional stick a needle into specific points in the body is thought to stimulate your bodies energy to act on a specific organ function. Many people swear by this method, however it’s not a guarantee for anyone.

Sex

This is one of the most common theories of how to start labor naturally. Although having sex with your pregnant belly in the way may prove difficult, having an orgasm can trigger the release of oxytocin, a hormone that can, in large quantities, cause contractions.

Walking

Exercise and being upright is thought to encourage your baby to move down towards your cervix an get into the correct position for labor. The pressure from your baby’s head pressing on your cervix is also thought to release oxytocin, the hormone that causes contractions, which could make you start labor naturally.

Curry

Eating spicy food is a common way for people to bring on labor. Eating spicy food may stimulate your gut, which in turn prompts your womb to kick start things.

Nipple Stimulation

Gently rubbing or rolling your nipples is thought to mimic the suckling of a baby, which releases oxytocin, the hormone that causes contractions. This may or may not work to help start labor naturally.


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Unsafe ways to start labor

There are also some ways of naturally inducing labor which are harmful and should not be used. They all carry potential risks for you and your baby and healthcare professionals will warn you against using them. If you are thinking about using any of these options please contact your doctor or midwife.

Castor Oil

Castor oil is a substance that has been used for centuries to try and start labor naturally, however it may make you nauseous and give you diarrhea, which can be harmful to you and your baby. There is also pretty much no scientific evidence that it actually works.

Homeopathic/Herbal Remedies

Homeopathic remedies, like Pulsatilla and Caulophyllum, are often used to try start labor naturally, although there is no evidence that they actually work. Herbal remedies including blue or black cohosh are stronger than homeopathic remedies, and should never be used during pregnancy. In particular, blue cohosh has been linked to complications for babies at birth. Medical professionals advise against taking herbal remedies to start labor naturally.

Rasberry Leaf

Raspberry leaf is a topic you see come up a lot in mommy groups online. It can be taken as a tea or in capsule form from 32 weeks in gradually increasing doses. It is thought to help start labor by toning the muscles of your womb. Raspberry leaf should not be used to try to bring on labor when you are full term or overdue. The sudden stimulation may cause overly strong contractions which can be both painful for you, and distress your baby.

 

Always talk to your doctor or midwife about ways to start labor naturally, and don’t put yourself or your unborn baby at risk.

Don’t forget to check out Raise Vegan magazine for all things pregnancy, parenting, and vegan related. 

 

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Aoife Sheridan

Associate Editor, USA | Contactable via Aoife@raisevegan.com

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