It seems that the internet is full of ideas for natural labor induction. Both of my babies were quite late and it seems I tried everything to make them come. I did end up medically inducing one child while the other came on her own, but still quite late.
If you are looking for ways to induce your baby naturally, you may want to think twice before you stress over all of these. I’ve found relaxing and working on keeping stress out of your day is the best thing possible while waiting for baby.
I thought it might be helpful to compile a little list of what didn’t work for me. Now, I’m not a doctor and don’t claim any of these to be scientific. It’s simply a list of things that I’ve found to be flukes from my own experience and that of my friends.
Some of these are downright fun to try. Labor inducing or not, I’ll take a pineapple any time of the day!
What didn’t work:
1. Pineapple – It’s yummy, so might as well give it a shot, but I ate it like it was going out of style and baby stayed in place.
2. Swimming – Honestly, swimming is AWESOME when pregnant. It can help the baby get in the right position for labor and best of all, for at least a few minutes you don’t feel like a cow and your back stops hurting. Pure wonderfulness. But, it definitely didn’t encourage my Little Man to come.
3. Bouncing on an excercise ball – Just like swimming, an excercise ball can help get the baby into the proper position for labor, which is helpful, but I’ve never seen it jumpstart labor.
4. Raspberry tea – Fun fact, I HATE tea. I could list things that I ate while living in Asia that would probably make you nauseous. I can eat some crazy stuff and keep a smile on my face, but don’t give me tea. I hate it. That being said, shortly after I passed my due date with Little Man a friend told me raspberry tea could help induce labor. I was desperate. I choked the nasty stuff down and…nothing. Still no baby. Just a foul taste in my mouth. Definitely not trying this again!
5. Walking – This one is probably the most common. Every body tells you if you walk a lot it will make the baby come. Not true. I walked laps around our apartment complex trying to get my very late baby boy to come, and well, he didn’t. I’ve even had nurses tell me this one isn’t true, but they often see moms tiring themselves out walking. If you are already in labor, walking can help move things along faster, if you are not yet in labor, it won’t make it start.
6. Pressure point on ankle – I have a friend who is a certified massage therapist. She even studied pressure points on the body that do different things. She showed me this special place on my ankle that if rubbed correctly should start labor contractions. She showed me how to do it and I massaged my ankle til it was almsot bruised. still no baby.
7. Stairs – Taking the stairs a lot should induce labor. so “they” say… I lived on a 2nd story apartment when I was pregnant with Little Man and we live on the 3rd story now. Needless to say I do stairs a LOT. I do stairs carrying my 24 pound Little Man and bags of groceries. Still no baby.
8. Intimacy – this one actually has “scientific” reasons why it should work, but it didn’t work for us :/
9. Chinese food – I ate a good amount of chinese food when I was pregnant with Little Man. None of it made him want to come out of my belly.
10 Castor oil – The one thing I didn’t try. I’ve heard this one really works for some people, but it can be dangerous too, so I refrained from trying it. Sounds yucky anyway, I’m not sure that I would be able to do it even if I didn’t want to for fear of dehydrating myself and/or harming the baby in the process.
In conclusion – Many of these techniques can adjust baby’s position to get him or her to the right spot for an easier labor, some release the hormones that you need to jumpstart labor, , a few have have no real reason why they should work, but some moms still swear by them!
It seems that all of these techniques can help, but they won’t induce labor unless baby is ready. I think The best tip I can give is to stay calm and try to be patient. I know it’s hard to wait, but the waiting will all be worth it! Keeping stress to a minimum definitely helps!
I wonder now, if my obsessing over the natural labor induction techniques made my stress levels higher and actually discouraged him from coming out.
I’m not obsessing over these this time around, because I’ve learned that baby comes when baby is ready. Not when mama is ready. I just know that all the techniques I read in books and on countless websites didn’t work for me!
So what did work??? Going to the hospital and getting medically induced. We started the induction process at 10pm when he was 8 days overdue, and Little Man was born around noon the next day. (you can read his birth story here) It wasn’t what I had planned, but I have no regrets. Everything went smooth and in the end I had a healthy baby boy, and really, that’s what matters most.
With baby girl I’ve done plenty of the above, but I’m not expecting them to make her come. The only “extra” thing I’ve done this pregnancy is super fun bouncy dance parties with Little Man. We love putting on crazy music and hopping around the house. (I’m sure we look CRAZY when we do it, but it’s fun!) If anything should encourage her to come it should be that! she needs to come join the party!!! but things are progressing a lot better this time. Like I mentioned earlier I think this is because I’m not stressed out this time around. I’m at peace with most things in my life, and not worried about when she’s coming. She can’t stay in my belly forever!!! Though of course, I would prefer her to come sooner rather than later.
What about you? Did your baby(/babies) come by themselves? Did you try any of the things I listed and did they work for you?
*edit: Baby girl ended up coming 5 days late, with no induction (natural or medical)