5 Natural Methods To Speed Along Labour If You’re Overdue
Research shows only about 1 in 25 babies are born on their actual due date. 1 in 5 arrive at 41 weeks or even later.
So remember it’s very common for babies to take their time arriving! But we know (from our own experiences) that it can feel very frustrating to go over your due date.
Every day that your baby is in your womb, they are developing and preparing for the world outside.
In the late stages of pregnancy, this is particularly important for lung and brain development so it is not a good idea to try to encourage labour to start until you are over your due date.
There is not enough scientific research to prove whether the following methods really work but some mums have reportedly found these techniques have helped their labour to begin.
Before you try anything, ALWAYS get the ok from your doctor, just in case there are any risks that you may not be aware of, and especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
Oxytocin – this powerful hormone is often called the ‘love’ hormone. You can encourage the release of oxytocin by having sex – having an orgasm can stimulate the womb to start labour. Or you can try nipple stimulation – gently rubbing or rolling your nipples. This can release oxytocin and cause contractions to start.
Raspberry Leaf Tea – it is thought that the biologically active compounds found in this tea take time to build up. Some expectant mums-to-be start drinking raspberry leaf tea (or taking supplements) a few weeks before their due date.
But be careful! There are some circumstances where raspberry leaf tea can be risky for you and your baby so always seek medical advice first.
For example, you should not take it if you are expecting twins or your baby is in a breech position.
Some reports suggest it should not be taken to bring on labour because it is thought to stimulate the womb. Take a look at the Babycentre link below for more information.
Pineapple – the enzyme bromelain in pineapple is thought to contribute to softening the cervix and so bring on labour. However it is likely that you would need to eat a very large amount of pineapple to get a significant enough amount of bromelain.
Walking – your baby’s head pressing on your cervix as you walk can stimulate the release of oxytocin. Being upright as much as possible can be very helpful to encourage your baby to move down onto your cervix.
Relax – it may seem hard to relax when you’re overdue but it’s really important to conserve your energy and enjoy simple breathing and relaxation techniques – these can help you stay calm when labour comes along. Relaxation or hypnosis tracks can be extremely beneficial and these are best used during the weeks coming up to childbirth to ensure that you’ve prepared yourself adequately.
Mental preparation for childbirth is also key. Enrolling for a birth class, maybe hypnobirthing can be helpful. Or take a look at this 7 Secrets to Easier Childbirth.
Have you got any good tips to help encourage labour to start naturally? We’d love to hear them!