Sometimes doctors become concerned about the mother’s health late in the pregnancy. Sometimes women are simply tired of waiting a long time to meet their baby. So they may want to speed up the process by inducing labor safely. A 2022 study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine showed that walking for half an hour three times a week at a speed of 2 mph starting at 38 weeks of pregnancy can help induce labor. We explain the natural ways to induce labor.
To meet their baby, women usually have to wait until 40 weeks provided there are no complications during pregnancy, says Dr Meshva Patel, fertility and IVF specialist, Aveya IVF and Fertility Centre, Delhi . But some babies take their time to come out of the womb.
The normal delivery of a baby is affected by three main factors:
• Power (uterine contractions)
• Passage (female pelvis)
• Passenger (fetus)
If there is anything wrong with these three factors in terms of inadequate or insufficient uterine contractions, narrow or deformed pelvis, large baby or abnormal baby position, delivery will take longer than normal. habit. In such cases, women may need a cesarean section or instrumental delivery (forceps and vacuum).
Natural Ways to Induce Labor
You can also induce labor naturally if your little one is taking a while to enter this world. Here’s what to do:
1. Nipple stimulation
This involves gently massaging or rolling the nipples, which can release oxytocin, a hormone that can trigger uterine contractions. It is important to do this carefully to avoid overstimulation, which can lead to contractions that are too strong, warns the expert.
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2. Perineal massage
Massaging the area between the vagina and anus (the perineum) can help soften and stretch the tissues. This can potentially reduce the risk of tearing during childbirth and stimulate blood flow to the area, promoting labor.
Staying active during pregnancy through activities like walking or prenatal yoga can help you stay fit for work. Exercise can also encourage the baby to get into a better position for delivery, which can naturally induce labor.
Sex can promote labor because it can help ripen the cervix and release prostaglandins, hormones that can stimulate contractions. Additionally, physical movements during sex can encourage the baby to move down the birth canal, Dr. Patel tells Health Shots. However, scientific evidence in this regard is insufficient.
Acupuncture has long been practiced in traditional Chinese medicine. It involves inserting fine needles into specific points on the body, which can stimulate the release of oxytocin and encourage labor.
Acupressure is similar to acupuncture, but involves applying pressure to specific points on the body with the fingers or hands. It can help relax the body, reduce stress and potentially stimulate labor when applied correctly.
7. Herbal Remedies
Some herbal remedies, such as dates, castor oil, raspberry leaf tea, evening primrose oil, pineapple and papaya, are said to have properties to induce uterine contractions and to prepare the mouth of the uterus to open.
There is also membrane stripping, also known as membrane sweeping, to induce limb. It is a medical procedure in which a medical expert uses their finger to slightly separate the amniotic sac from the cervix, explains Dr. Patel. This can release prostaglandins and sometimes cause contractions.
Inducing labor is safe, but keep your doctor informed to avoid any complications.