6 ways to bring on labour naturally

Do you want to avoid an induction?

I thought I would share some tips on how to get your labour going naturally, i.e. if you want to avoid an induction.

I decided to share these tips this month, in the month of luurrrve, because you might be surprised to find that most of them are 'love' related, wink wink.

What am I on about? - you'll see! Scroll down for the tips.

Hope this helps lovelies!

How to bring on your labour naturally

Something that's crucial to know, if you want to know how to encourage your body to go into labour naturally, is what actually starts your labour in the first place.

When your baby is fully developed, their body releases a protein which is picked up by your body, signalling for it get going.

You then produce a hormone called 'Oxytocin'. This hormone starts your contractions going. It's essential to be producing lots of it if you want to go into labour naturally.

It's also nicknamed the 'love hormone', because you produce lots of it when you feel love, loved, when you make love. It's that warm fuzzy, happy, relaxed feeling.

This means - anything you can do to relax, and make yourself feel all lovely, will help your body go into labour when the time is right.

A NOTE - if your baby is not yet ready to be born, this won't work. My biggest piece of advice is to wait for your baby to decide when it wants to be born. But if you're feeling the pressure and want to avoid induction, these things will help...

6 natural induction methods

  1. Sex - yes, it's an old wives tale, but the boost of oxytocin you get from making love can just kick things into gear. Also, there is something in semen called progesterone, which naturally softens the cervix. This can also help to get things going if they haven't already. In fact when you are induced, if they use the pessary, it's actually inserting a synthetic prostaglandin gel onto the cervix to soften it. So, same thing, not as nice an application ;)

  2. Anything that makes you feel lovely and relaxed. Having a warm bath, getting cosy by a fire. Think date night or spa session. Even watching a rom com, or comedy box set - laughter also helps. This will all boost oxytocin levels and fingers crossed, within a day or so things might start to happen.

  3. Holistic therapies such as reflexology, acupuncture and pregnancy massage. There is some evidence to show that these are effective in bringing on labour. However, it may just be that these therapies all make you feel super relaxed, and are done in a dark cosy room, all of which boosts - you guessed it - oxytocin!

  4. Nipple stimulation - another one that's a bit out there. But go with me on this. By stimulating your nipples, you can almost trick your body into thinking that a baby is already there trying to suckle. Oxytocin is also responsible for breast milk production - so the suckling baby stimulates oxytocin production. So, when you're still pregnant, stimulating the nipple can actually produce more oxytocin and bring on your labour too. Crazy I know!

  5. Gentle exercise, such as a gentle walk or bouncing on a birth ball. This is because the physical movement can shift your baby about, either getting them into a better position for birth, or just the movement itself stimulates your contractions.

  6. Eating 6 dates a day - this is a little known old wives tale, but there is some truth behind it. Research carried out at Jordan university found that eating 6 dates a day from 34 weeks in pregnancy made for earlier and shorter labours. Win!

And what to avoid - some others you might have heard of...

  1. Spicy Curries - just don't do it - please!!! I know it's really tempting to just give it a try when you're at the end of your pregnancy and you're desperate. But the way this works is that your curry would need to be spicy enough to irritate your digestive tract and bowl. Because they are close to your uterus, it can increase your contractions. But I really wouldn't want to go into labour with that situation - irritated bowl from a super hot curry. No thankyou!

  2. Drinking Aloe Vera juice - see above.

  3. Eating pineapple - pineapples contain an enzyme called bromeline - which on it's own can affect contractions. However, you would need to eat 8-10 whole pineapples to get anywhere near enough bromeline to have any effect. Not sure that's a good idea either.

  4. Excessive or vigorous exercise. Remember there is a baby in there, and it may not be quite ready to come out yet! So maybe avoid the trampolines ;) Please be sensible with exercise in those last few weeks lovelies.

I hope you find this helpful. I'd love to know in the comments if you found anything else that worked.

Lauren x

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