Waiting for your baby?
You're overdue and an induction date is looming, this was not part of your birth plan! You might feel like giving your baby a gentle prod! But how?
Here a list of gentle ways to help you inducing labour naturally at home!
Exercise. walk, get on this bouncy ball and rock those hips left to right, listen to your favourite music and just dance! Walk up the stairs up and down! Stop feeling sorry for yourself with a box of chocolate - stay active!
Sex. Yep you read it well 'S.E.X.'. Feel like it or not, this is a special time before baby comes! Enjoy those cuddles with your partner. It is recommended to avoid having sex if your waters have broken as there's an increased risk of infection. Oxytocin is released in response to love, fertility, lovemaking, hugging, contractions... Oxytocin - the hormone of love described by Michel Odent - is derived from the Greek, meaning 'quick childbirth'. Towards the end of the pregnancy, there is an elevation in oxytocin level and a sharp increase during labour. It is not certain exactly what triggers labour but oxytocin is the driver behind labour. You can read more about oxytocin by clicking here
Nipple stimulation well this could be done with number 2 or just go and get a breast pump and pump and pump. Nipple stimulation causes oxytocin release and may cause uterine contractions.
Spicy foods: it is often a laxative which may cause uterine irritation or contractions but often as a result of gastrointestinal upset and diarrhoea, not labour. Spicy food can also lead to significant heartburn which you may already suffer from during your pregnancy eurk! Bottom line: you may regret his Vindaloo later on.
Raspberry leaf tea: Raspberry leaf tea is a herbal remedy that is thought to tone the muscles of your uterus (womb) and to help during labour. The idea is not so much to speed up labour but to help it progress at a steady pace. Midwifes often recommend it. It is advisable to start drinking it from 32 weeks rather than 36 weeks (there are loads of different advice on when to start drinking it so do your research).
Evening Primrose Oil: Often recommended for PMT. It may help the cervix soften and thin out. There aren't enough formal studies on Evening Primrose Oil to prove its impact on labor or cervical ripening but it is still a natural way without too many cons. It can act as a blood thinner though be aware of this.
Visualisation: One of my favourite! Let's assume you have attended a hypnobirthing course - don't worry if you haven't - it's never too late to be introduced to hypnobirthing! Right now, you are sitting in your favourite chair maybe with your swollen feet up; I want you to relax and visualise a healthy beautiful baby in your arms, you can also visualise your cervix softening and opening!
Membrane stripping or called a 'sweep' - the procedure is usually performed by a midwife! The midwife will separate the amniotic sac from the area around the cervix. The sweep is supposed to release hormones called prostaglandins, which should help the body go into labour. I strongly recommend my clients to book a reflexology as closed as possible when they have a sweep. The two combined are often powerful.
Acupuncture - If you don't mind needles, acupuncture helps invigorating and descending a woman's energy to allow her baby to be born. They usually recommend it to have a session every second day.
Reflexology: Oh I will be rich if there was one point on the foot that would do that! But what I do as a trained maternity reflexologist is a lot more under-stated than a medical procedure, I help women to prepare their body to go into labour. Many women at this stage of their pregnancy are encouraged to relax when often they're worrying about the birth. Taking the time to have a relaxing reflexology treatment is often enough to help kick start labour. If your body has high levels of stress hormones, your body is essentially in fight or flight mode trying to tell you "don't go into labour, run somewhere safe and quiet instead". After a reflexology treatment, you will feel a sense of calmness and pure relaxation. Being able to support women with reflexology all through their pregnancy and beyond is a wonderful experience and extremely rewarding. I feel very honoured to be part of my clients’ journey.
Like anything if in doubt about your health and your baby please consult your midwife or doctor.
For further details on how Foot Reflexology can help you during your pregnancy and beyond please contact Cécile at Ped à Terre Reflexology.