40 Ways to Induce Labor

40 Ways to Go Into Labor

Hey there friends!

As many of you know, my due date is fast approaching and we are busy preparing for our little girl to arrive. It’s funny how everyone starts coming out of the woodwork when it’s close to your due date- sharing their stories of how to get labor going, encouraging you to start early, etc. Unlike the necessary and good practice of preparing your body for birth, stimulating labor early isn’t necessary- the body will take care of it on it’s own when baby is ready! However, if you’re past due and getting desperate- here’s a great list of supposed ways to induce labor- from the commonly practiced to the ridiculous. Enjoy!

Please know that I am not a medical professional, and I am not attempting to give medical advice. Please only use these methods under the supervision of your birth professional. Also, some affiliate links are used- no charge to you, but supports this little blog! Thanks!

PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES
Walking
Running
Running UP Steps
Jumping Jacks
Walking curbs (one foot on, one foot off, switch sides often)
Walking sideways up stairs
Use a breast pump (fave)
Nipple Stimulation
Sex
Off-roading
Pedicure
Foot/Ankle Massage
Driving on train tracks
Bounce on a birth or exercise ball (fave)
Hula Hoop (super cheap!)
Dancing
High knees
Lunges
Jump on a trampoline (low cost option)
Handstands
Tell your body to go into labor/focus energy
Don’t think about going into labor (ha!)
Rub your belly in a clockwise circle for 1 min, then do lunges for 3 min, repeat

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture
Acupressure
Chiropractor
Membrane sweeping
Induction Massage

THINGS TO EAT
Spicy Food
Labor Cake
Eggplant (particularly eggplant parmesan)
Eating until you’re stuffed
Balsamic Vinegar (this one is great & a great value)
Certain dishes at specific restaurants (the “preggo pizza”)
Eating fresh pineapple (a lot of it)
‘The Huston Method’: Popcorn, Wine, Sex
Eating dates

SUPPLEMENTS AND HERBS
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Evening Primrose Oil– taken orally or inserted vaginally
Herbal Tinctures or Supplements (black or blue cohosh, false unicorn)
Homeopathics
Clary Sage Oil
Castor Oil
Laxatives

Have another suggestion you’d like to share? Leave it in the comments and I’ll add it to the list! 🙂

Great selection of bulk herbs, books, and remedies. Articles, Research Aids and much more.

Our All-Natural Birth Plan

Our All-Natural Birth Plan

Given that our due date is so soon, we have been busy preparing for our baby to arrive! One of the most important tools, especially for achieving a natural birth, is having a birth plan written out, and going over the birth plan with anyone involved with your labor and delivery. Make sure especially that your husband and/or birth coach is very familiar with your wishes and can help you make decisions according to your plan, even if you aren’t fully capable of making them yourself at the time. You should include plans for your ideal birth, as well as plans for if complications arise for either you or the baby. Here is our plan (so far!)

LABOR
Labor at home as long as possible (ideal departure: contractions 2-3min apart, lasting 1min)
Eat, drink, and move freely during labor as desired
As few internal checks as possible (none if allowed, one upon arrival is permissible)
Intermittent fetal monitoring only as truly needed
All interventions should be explained and we should be given time to discuss together
Available to labor in tub, on birth ball, birth stool, shower, toilet, outside
Utilize rebozo, oils, rice sock, massage, hot towels, homeopathics as needed

DELIVERY
Push in whatever position is comfortable
Push with body’s prompting, not to timing
Free to deliver in water if desired
Perineal counter pressure, heat, oils- episiotomy only in absolutely emergent situation

POSTPARTUM
Immediate skin to skin
No erythromycin or vaccinations will be given
Vit K will only be given if deemed necessary by birth, after discussion between midwife and Karli. Arnica will be used instead if possible.
No bath given- wipe off face and yucky bits, rub in vernix
No hat unless necessary by room temperature
No pacifier given whatsoever
Breastfeeding as soon as baby is ready
APGAR done on mother
Cord allowed to finish pulsing (minimum of 10 min), then be cut by Matt
Placenta delivered naturally, placed in refrigerator to be taken home and encapsulated
Sitz bath as soon as possible (may be once we get home- fine)
Baby will use cloth diapers only (with liner) all brought with us
Family allowed to return home as soon as possible

CESAREAN
Only spinal anesthesia given
Shield lowered to see baby delivered
Cord allowed to stop pulsing, if possible
No erythromycin, vaccinations, Vit K only if deemed necessary
Skin to skin and breastfeeding ASAP
Room in with baby at all times

SICK BABY
Breastfeed baby, expressed breastmilk if necessary
Free visitation by mother and father
Allowed skin to skin if possible
Parents handle as much of care as possible

Did you write out a birth plan? If not, do you wish you had? If so, is there anything additional you would include, or wish that you had included?

Husband-Coached Childbirth?

bradley

From the moment a woman announces her pregnancy, she is bombarded with advice from other mothers and horror stories of labor and incompetent husbands and breathing techniques that did little more than frustrate and break concentration. Because we are choosing to give birth in a birthing center (more on that later), I strongly desire to be as prepared and educated as possible before going into the birth of my daughter. The problem is, there are so many choices of “methods” and “classes” that all claim to do that! Here are a few of the options presented to the expectant mama:

Lamaze– What your parents probably think of when it comes to childbirth classes. I don’t actually know anyone who has had a baby in the last few years that has taken a Lamaze class. Lamaze focuses on breathing and movement strategies to make a natural birth more comfortable, but also educates women on interventions as well. Classes are typically 12 hours of instruction, broken down over several class sessions, and are held in large groups (typically around 12 couples).

The Mongan Method (Hypnobirthing)- focuses on deep relaxation and a degree of self-hypnosis, coupled with visualization. Not as crazy as it sounds, and I have had a few friends who tried hypnobirthing and loved it, including some hardcore home birthing mamas! My favorite part is the “anchoring” effect that the husband is supposed to have- when he even touched the wife, she is to associate him with strength and serenity, and immediately be focused. Classes are typically 5 weeks of 2-3 hour classes, and are available in group or private settings, depending on your instructor.

Birthing From Within– A very spiritual approach to childbirth, probably the most “hippie” of them all. I actually read the Birthing from Within book a few weeks ago, and if you can wade through the semi-crazy, hallucinogenic art therapy-esque chapters in the beginning of the book, there are actually some great and helpful suggestions in there as well. They also have meaningful ideas for baby showers called “blessingsways” that I am going to try to incorporate into my own showers this fall/winter. Six one-hour classes.

International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA)- This is a pretty generic child birthing education organization, and the content of the classes varies depending on the instructor.

There are a few other options, but these seem to be the most popular, at least within my circles! So, what are we choosing? We’ve decided to study The Bradley Method- and our classes start tonight!

The Bradley Method is a philosophy based on years of research and observation by obstetrician Dr. Robert A. Bradley. The classes consist of 13 weeks of 2 hour classes, which focus on nutrition, exercise, pain management techniques, coping through proper body positioning and movement, education of the stages of labor, and birth rehearsals. Of all of the classes I mentioned above, Bradley seems to be the most holistically based, but also seems to give the most practical preparation as well (don’t you want to have a birth rehearsal?)

The role of the husband (or partner) is integral in the Bradley Method. Also dubbed “Husband-Coached Childbirth”, the labor partner is basically trained to be a doula and labor coach- to remember the things that the mother may forget in the heat of labor, and to know how to tend to each stage of labor’s specific physical and emotional needs. The coach is also responsible for the mother’s preparation- making sure that she is held accountable to Bradley’s nutrition standards and performing the designated exercises as often as portable to give the body the best preparation for the birth event.

There are two Bradley Method books that I have read- one, Husband-Coached Childbirth, written by Dr. Bradley himself, seems to be the book that started it all. The book is actually written to the father, though as mothers I think it’s good to read as well. It explains the development of his philosophy, the success that he has seen in his practice, and the various techniques used to achieve a peaceful, natural labor. I don’t think that reading this book alone is enough to fully prepare you for the birth, however- it is best used in conjunction with classes, as I think it was intended.

The second book, Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, written by Susan McCutcheon, is much more detail oriented, outlining specific nutrition guidelines showing photos of the different exercises (almost every time with a completely naked pregnant woman, so be aware), and going into great depth about each of the stages of labor. This book is written to the couple, and addresses both the mother and the coach at times. If you don’t have time or money to take a full Bradley class, but want to be educated on the philosophy and prepare your body using these techniques, I highly suggest this book. In fact, I know some couples who completely skipped the classes, just read this book, and had beautiful, natural Bradley births!

In short, here’s why we are choosing the Bradley Method:

The support of our community. We really, truly know a large number of couples who have used this method successfully and loved it. Veteran Bradley parents can’t seem to speak highly enough about the experience, and I value that a lot.

-The development of the husband and wife team. Many birth education options focus on either the mother “doing it herself” or with the help of other experienced women, and leave the husband on the sidelines. While I certainly see the merit of having other experienced women at your disposal, this simply isn’t what I envision when I think of a graceful, Biblical childbirth- diminishing the husband’s role? In our marriage, we work as a God-ordained team, and I think that should transfer to the birth event as well.

-The importance of nutrition and exercise. If you’ve ever read this blog you know how important this is to me, so there’s no surprise here. The Bradley exercises are simple but effective (think kegels, full squats, pelvic tilts), and the nutrition is comprehensive. For example, I am supposed to eat two baked potatoes a week- with the skin on- to help with mineral and iron consumption! I just never would have thought of that. Thank goodness for Bradley 🙂

-The time commitment to the classes– thats more than 24 hours! While this may deter some people, I am excited to fully immerse myself, have plenty of time to chew on what I am learning, ask questions, and practice. I feel confident that if anything is going to prepare me, these classes will.

-Birth rehearsals. I am fully aware that you can never truly rehearse your birth, as birth, by nature, is very unpredictable. However, if you can get the main coping and support techniques down for the various stages, it will be much easier to deviate when the time comes and incorporate something new. Our birth center also holds mandatory birth rehearsals right in the labor rooms- that will be exciting!

-Emphasis on breastfeeding. I haven’t actually started the class (like I said, we start tonight!), but one of our required textbooks is La Leche League’s “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding”. This is a small point, as I already had the book to read anyway, but it makes me feel better to know that they emphasize things that I find very important.

I can’t wait to go to class tonight and start this journey! I look forward to sharing what I am learning along the way 🙂