March 17, 2014

How To: Induce Labor Naturally...Or At Least Try!

So, yesterday came and went - obviously, no baby. Darn it! Baby #2 did not want to follow in her older sister's footsteps!

I went for my 38 week appointment this morning and found out that I am dilated to a 3, and that I am 75% effaced. This is a lot more progress than my 38 week appointment with Noelle! With Noelle I was dilated to a 1, and 70% effaced two days before she came.

I've got to be having this baby this week! My midwife encouraged me to try "natural inducing" methods, which I have been doing for a couple weeks anyways. I'll never know if my dilation and thinning cervix is from these methods or just nature but I guess it doesn't hurt to try them out. So far, my progress has been gradual and I've been doing a bunch of these methods throughout the last month.

Here are the natural inducing methods:

  • Pineapple: I eat a lot of pineapple. The proteolytic enzymes in the pineapple are suppose to ripen the cervix, making it thin and also stimulates muscle contractions. It gives me really bad heartburn, but it's so yummy! I eat some almost every day. Oh, one tip? Don't eat the canned stuff. Eat it fresh!
  • The deed: We've all heard this. I'm not going into detail but the story behind it is that the oxytocin released can start contractions, and the prostaglandins help soften the cervix. 
  • Acupuncture: I have not done this and don't plan to, but it's been said to induce a lot of overdue women. If I was desperate I may try this but I don't know if I believe the hype.
  • Acupressure: There are a few pressure points where you can massage that supposedly will help ignite contractions. This is far fetched to me, but I guess it doesn't hurt to try. There are a lot of nerves in your feet, so they say getting a foot rub or a pedicure will help. Also if you massage and press the area in between your pointer finger and your thumb that should help too. I have no idea. I've been massaging my hand for days when I remember.
  • Spicy foods: The concept here is that spicy foods move your bowels, which may also move your uterus and cause contractions. I think this might work for people who don't usually consume spicy foods, but since I do normally, I don't think this does anything to me. 
  • Ginger: Again, the spice in ginger is suppose to stir things up. I ate ginger cookies all weekend and real organic ginger ale. It was spicy and delicious, but who knows if it did anything?
  • Eggplant parmigiana: It's not the eggplant that is said to put you into labor, but the oregano and basil in the recipe that gets your body going. Juries out on this one for me. I'd eat it if it was available but I haven't gone out of my way to get my hands on it.
  • Nipple stimulation: Typing that even makes me uncomfortable. In efforts to not be TMI, all I'll say is that it's suppose to mimic breastfeeding, which naturally makes your uterus contract.
  • Bouncing on a yoga ball: I did this with Noelle - and it might have helped some. I haven't this time though, since I've been avoiding the yoga ball like it's the plague. (Too many bad memories of bouncing a colic Noelle on the yoga ball for hours on end.)
  • Exercise: I've been doing lots of walking and carrying Noelle around. I think this definitely has helped push the baby down lower and put pressure on my cervix to open, but no, I don't think you can "walk a baby out." 
  • Evening primrose oil: This is something that I wanted to try, since it's talked about a lot when discussing inducing labor. It's said to thin and soften the cervix. I saw it at the grocery store and couldn't stomach the $20 price tag.
  • Castor oil: I will never do this. Well, I shouldn't say never. I might do it if I was at 42 weeks or something, but definitely not now. It is an extreme laxative, that will really stir up your stomach and uterus. Contractions will probably for sure happen, but so will violent diarrhea. One of my best friends did it and she was in the bathroom all night with horrible contractions. She went to the hospital and was sent back home because it wasn't real labor. So yes, it probably did dilate her, but at that cost? No thank you!
  • Raspberry leaf tea: This is a uterine tonic that not only ripens the cervix but makes your uterus walls stronger to aid in labor. I've been drinking lots of this. It's affordable, doesn't taste bad, and it can't hurt. 
  • Get a massage: If I had time I'd totally be getting a prenatal massage. It relaxes you, which is sometimes all you need to kick start labor. I'd get it for that, as well as the benefit that it would feel so good for my back pain! However, since I don't have the time, I just have Joey massage me sometimes and I have to say the last time he gave me a massage last week I had horrible contractions that night! (Horrible, but strong! You have to take the bad with the good!)
  • Hot baths: I tried this for the first time a few nights ago and have done it twice now. You aren't suppose to "cook" the baby and raise your body temperature, so when you do, it may kick start contractions. It did cause me some contractions last night, but mostly, it was so relaxing on my muscles! It's also said that the warm water will help soften your cervix. 
Tonight my plan is to do a few of these methods (especially the hot bath - loved that), maybe get a pedicure, and eat lots of spice on my pizza! Fingers crossed baby comes soon! There is suppose to be a snow storm tonight, which makes me think that will be exactly when baby decides to make her entrance! 

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