How to Bring on Labor

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For many pregnant women going into labor occurs as naturally as the sun rising in the morning. For a few, nature needs a little nudge in helping things along and they need to know how to bring on labor. There are many different ways of inducing labor both medically and naturally.[WIDGET1]

Medically speaking there are the stripping of the membranes, the application of prostaglandin to the cervix, an IV drip of Pitocin, and breaking of the bag of waters. Naturally speaking there are many different methods – of which I will briefly explain.

If a pregnant woman is over due – meaning that she is past the estimated due date – she may opt to try an induction. Before trying any type of “natural” labor induction – seek the advice of your physician or midwife. Because natural labor induction really works – it needs to be used with extreme caution and you need be sure you know what you are doing. Let’s go over the different types of natural labor induction.

A popular way – nipple stimulation done in timed sequences can bring on labor. This can be done by yourself or someone else – such as your partner can do this. By rolling the nipples between your thumb and forefinger or rubbing them, produces oxytocin – the hormone that causes the uterus to contract. It is to be done for about 20 minutes every hour until labor is established. Again, this is not a guarantee and should only be done under the advise of your care provider.

Black and blue cohosh, borage oil, evening primrose oil, mugwort, yarrow, and goldenseal are a few of the herbs that can help to induce labor naturally. There are varying opinions as to how much and how often to take these – as they all are uterine stimulates. Evening primrose oil can be placed directly on the cervix to help to thin it out or efface. A good midwife or herbalist would know the exact portions and if you are a good candidate for any of these herbs.

Castor oil has long been a “labor induction” remedy. There again the amount and times vary – depending on who you ask. I have done a little research into this and have discovered that it’s not for everyone. There have been cases where the castor oil was passed to the baby – causing the baby to pass meconium before the birth occurred.

Enemas were listed at one source as a labor induction. Some hospitals routinely practice giving enemas to help “clean out” mom before the birth – perhaps aiding in the labor process as well. Fasting and dehydration can cause labor – which is why it is so important to drink lots of water during pregnancy. Some of the time – if preterm labor starts – simply rehydration will halt it. Swinging in a swing can bring on labor – as stated by midwives – I’ve done this myself and it didn’t necessarily bring on labor – but who knows, with an over due mom – it just might be a fun way to try.

The last one that I know of is intercourse. Yes, having sex can bring on labor. This I know first hand – I went into labor 30 minutes afterwards with my daughter – the only problem was that I was only 36 weeks pregnant! It seems that there are prostaglandins in the semen and this will help to efface the cervix.

With all the methods above, I cannot stress enough to NOT try any of it without first seeking the advice and help of your doctor or midwife. There are certain conditions that could be very dangerous to try on your own – for yourself or for the baby. Of course, if labor induction is a certainty – I would certainly not hesitate to look into the natural methods before trying one of the medical ones first.

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