You can do it! Welp, it’s official: According to a new study, acupuncture won’t bring on labor any faster than ... sitting around and whining about your last month of pregnancy. This is tragic news for me, as I sit here bouncing on my yoga ball, hoping to jiggle my child into the birth canal.
The Internet is full of advice for getting labor started. Unfortunately, none of it seems to work. But you know what I say? That doesn’t mean you can’t try it! These last few weeks are truly torture, and though my sister is probably right when she says the torture exists so that you’re willing to go through labor, sometimes you need to do something -- anything! -- just so you feel somewhat in control.
So here are the top methods of kick-starting labor. Who knows? You could be the exception that proves the rule!
Sex: More specifically, your partner’s sperm on your cervix. You’ve got to go all the way, ladies. I don’t know if this has been specifically shown not to work; I just know that when my doctor was worried I’d go into pre-term labor, she cautioned me not to have sex (because the orgasm could set off contractions) or, if I did, to have my husband wear a condom (because the sperm can cause the cervix to efface and soften). TMI: I’ve been trying to figure out how for days now.
Nipple Stim: Again, when I was in danger of going into pre-term labor, I was cautioned not to let anyone try to stimulate my nipples. (Yeah. Like I was letting anyone NEAR my suddenly ginormous brown raspberries.) It’s one reason they warned me to wean before I hit my second trimester, though Penelope self-weaned before I had to take a stand. Anywho, this is supposed to help, according to anecdotal yadda-yadda.
Walk, Bounce, Swing, Squat: Like I said, I’m sitting on my yoga ball, trying to open my hips a little more and make room for Lady Goo-Goo to move a little farther down. Walking, bouncing gently on balls, swinging (ugh, I would barf), or just hanging out in a deep squat can all help your body get the message.
Herbal Ideas: I don’t even want to tell you about these, because they sound awful. Some people take castor oil, but I don’t know how much, and it’s a powerful laxative, so you could end up just having a horrible poop-explosion and irritating your bowels right when they’re about to come under siege anyway. Others use Evening Primrose Oil, but you’re supposed to apply it directly to your cervix, and that would freak me out because what if you’re dilated and then you get an infection? I dunno. I don’t like it.
Acupressure: Yeah, I know, I just said the study on acupuncture came back negative, but it can’t hurt to try. According to massage expert Michelle Ebbin, the acupressure points that stimulate the ovaries and uterus are the hollow areas just under your anklebones. Now that you’re full-term, you can massage away at them or press them firmly and see what happens!
Talking: I know it sounds woo-woo, and that’s because it is. But if you’re like me, you chatter non-stop to your baby when she comes out. So? Let her know you’re excited to see her soon and you guys are going to have so much fun. Get the rest of the family in on it, too. If nothing else, you’ll get yourselves a little closer to the idea that a new little person is about to be joining your ranks …
Just remember: None of these will work if your cervix isn’t ripe. Your doctor might have other ideas about kicking off labor if you’re truly overdue, from sweeping/stripping your cervix to good ol’ Pitocin.
Did a natural remedy kick you into labor? Tried any of these? Tell us in the comments!
Image via InFaNtRyWifWHIT/CafeMom