When the time to deliver your baby comes, the wait for contractions becomes tough.
There are safe and natural ways to induce labour.
Waiting for the Arrival
Before the baby arrives, women usually have to wait for 40 weeks unless there are complications in pregnancy, according to Dr Meshva Patel, Fertility and IVF Specialist. However, some babies take longer to come out of the womb.
Factors Affecting Normal Delivery
- Power (uterine contractions)
- Passage (female pelvis)
- Passenger (fetus)
If these factors are inadequate or insufficient, it may take longer for delivery. In such cases, women might have to go for a caesarean section or instrumental delivery using forceps or vacuum.
Natural Ways to Induce Labour
1. Nipple Stimulation
Gently massaging or rolling the nipples can release oxytocin, a hormone that triggers uterine contractions. Care should be taken to avoid overstimulation.
2. Perineal Massage
Massaging the perineum area between the vagina and anus can soften and stretch the tissues, potentially reducing the risk of tearing during childbirth and promoting labour.
Staying active through activities like walking or prenatal yoga can prepare the body for labour. Exercise may also encourage the baby to move into a better position for birth.
Sexual intercourse can help ripen the cervix and release prostaglandins, which stimulate contractions. The physical movements during sex can also encourage the baby to descend into the birth canal.
Inserting thin needles into specific points on the body may stimulate the release of oxytocin and encourage labour.
Applying pressure to specific points on the body with fingers or hands can relax the body, reduce stress, and potentially stimulate labour when done correctly.
7. Herbal Remedies
Some herbal remedies, such as dates, castor oil, raspberry leaf tea, primrose oil, pineapple, and papaya, are believed to have properties that induce uterine contractions and prepare the cervix for delivery.
Other methods include membrane stripping, also known as a membrane sweep, where a medical expert separates the amniotic sac from the cervix slightly to stimulate prostaglandin release and contractions.
It is important to keep your doctor informed to avoid complications during induction of labour.