Week 30: Labor induction a la natural
With only 10 weeks to go, I’m thankful we have a […]
With only 10 weeks to go, I’m thankful we have a gestation period of only 40 weeks, versus the 92 that elephants endure. After 92 weeks, I’d be giving birth to a baby that would be physically capable of crawling out of my uterus.
We all dream of going into labor at that magical 37-week mark. Not too early, not too late. Eventually, we wonder what we can do to help get this dog and pony show on the road. So, I decided to do some research—on natural labor inductions that is, not dog and pony shows.
Here’s what I found:
There’s a lot of things sperm can do:
- They can swim really fast.
- They can fertilize eggs.
- They can live for 5-7 days.
- They have stuff called prostaglandins, which is not only impossible to spell correctly the first three times, but can also soften your cervix.
There’s a lot of things sperm can’t do:
- They can’t pay the bills.
- They can’t do the dishes.
- They can’t make a late night run to Taco Bell.
- They can’t have your baby for you.
If your baby isn’t ready to be born, adding sperm to the mix won’t help. About all that will happen is you’ll still be pregnant, and you’ll have some very confused sperm who are late to the fertilization party.
- It can help you stay in good shape.
- It gets you to ice cream.
- It can help draw the baby down into your pelvis, creating pressure so strong it can feel like baby is going to bust a move right on out of your uterus, priming your cervix for labor.
- It can tire you out if you overdo it. For example, you start off going for a two mile jaunt in Southern Florida and finish your walk somewhere in Quebec. Exhausting.
Evening Primrose Oil
This stuff supposedly helps relax your cervix by one of these three methods:
- Taking evening primrose oil capsules.
- Rubbing evening primrose oil onto your cervix during the last weeks of pregnancy.
- Inserting the capsules into your vagina. (This one’s for the more adventurous folks).
Better ask your doctor or midwife first on this one, lots of controversy over the safety of herbs.
Women have been passing down this tradition for generations because someone way back in the day was like, “Hey, I’ll try this nasty stuff. Maybe it’ll induce diarrhea like cramping that might trigger contractions.” And so, a trend was started. Castor oil is a laxative. So before trying this method, ask yourself:
Do I really want diarrhea? Do I really want diarrhea during labor?
The answer to both is, no.
Hot food is more likely to give you a bad case of heartburn and diarrhea than kick start a baby. However, you will be able to brag about how your baby is so badass, you had ghost pepper sauce while in your third trimester, and baby never flinched a fetal foot.
Acupuncture & Acupressure
I always think of Pinhead, from the movie Hellraiser, whenever I think about acupuncture, but I’m pretty sure he’s not sporting pins for inducing labor. So, pins + specific pressure points = nudging baby into action. Or not.
Acupressure is like acupuncture but spelled differently, and no needles are involved, just fingers or elbows. There are pressure points specifically for inducing labor. Unfortunately, I only get about 500 words per post, and that list didn’t make the cut.
In the end, baby comes when baby’s ready.
So, it’s likely nothing you do will matter if baby isn’t interested in embarking on the journey. The “wait it out” method is probably the best; that’s when you sit with a bowl of ice cream and cry until your water breaks—or your contractions are five minutes apart. Just remember that baby can’t stay in there forever. Unless you are, in fact, an elephant.