• theruralmidwife

The secret to meeting your babe…

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of staying with a friend while she waited the last days before she met her baby. We had lots of birth related conversations, as you do when you’re waiting for that sweet baby. She tried a few natural induction techniques… it got me thinking that I need to write about natural induction and some pros and cons. So here you have it…

So, you’re full term and ready to meet your baby… All these months of preparation and waiting have led to this time. You’re so excited! Your family are excited. Your friends text you excited. Everyone is ready! There’s only one small issue… you’re not ‘doing’ anything. The time before you have a baby can feel so long. You’re on maternity leave, the nursery is set, you feel like a whale and you’re ready to birth this little being. What will they look like? How big will they be? Perhaps to help you along your friends and family give you some tips on how to get labour going. Today I’ll talk about some natural induction methods commonly used by mums in Australia. I’ll also talk about the secret to meeting your baby…

Pineapple When I was younger, my violin teacher swore that she had her babies on the 17th day of their respective birth months because she ate pineapple. How crazy I thought. And yet here I was at the end of my pregnancy, enjoying pineapple daily. Lucky for me it was in season and delicious, surprisingly it also stimulated tightenings in me. This site states pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain, which is thought to help soften your cervix and bring on labour. Eating large amounts will probably stimulate your tummy, which could also help to get things going. Worth a try if fresh pineapple is your groove.

Sex Its not one last hoorah for dads. We don’t say sex is helpful just to make sure mums are really uncomfortable at the end. Semen is actually loaded with prostaglandins, natures way of helping the cervix soften and get ready for labour. Also, relaxing and having some intimate time with your partner helps you to release oxytocin. Oxytocin encourages your uterus to contract. Pretty cool setup really. Oxytocin got you into this situation, oxytocin can help to get you out

Acupressure and acupuncture is used by lots of mums to help stimulate contractions and also increase the intensity once they start to establish. Over at Belly Belly they tell us that acupuncture is a 2000+ year treatment that has been very successful for labour induction. If you’re feeling inpatient by the end of your pregnancy, it’s something you could try to assist you and baby.

Aromatherapy Nice smells aren’t the only thing aromatherapy provides. The clary sage oil is a uterine stimulant and commonly used at the end of pregnancy. This page has some great recommendations for aromatherapy in labour.

Raspberry Leaf Tea The effectiveness of raspberry leaf tea is still unknown, as is the dose to take it in and when you should start. A lot of women consume raspberry leaf at the end of their pregnancy. Some literature states it is a uterine tonic and will help you achieve a shorter and easier labour. Others state it will stimulate contractions. Raspberry Leaf tea can be drunk as a tea or consumed in a capsule form. It may be something that interests you.

Spicy food I once cared for a mumma who swore the hot and spicy KFC she had for dinner the night before got her into labour. Spicy food can sometimes irritate the bowel which may in turn irritate your uterus. If you enjoy spicy food, you could have a try. If you don’t, you may just end up in more of a mess then you first started…

Walking This is a great thing to be doing all the way through your pregnancy. By keeping yourself in good shape, you’ll be helping your body prepare for labour. As well as this, at the end of pregnancy when babe has their head down, they will (in their own time) engage in the pelvis and walking will give some gentle pressure to the cervix, irritating it and stimulating tightening in the uterus. A gentle walk every evening is a really nice way to bond with baby, get some fresh air and assist in the journey to meeting baby.

And the big winner… the secret to actually meeting your baby…

Time! Give your baby time. Your baby doesn’t know they have an estimated due date. Nobody told them they’re on a time line. You have to be patient unfortunately (easier said than done often). Family and friends calling and asking if they baby is here? Turn off your phone. Ask your friends and family to stop asking you when the baby will come. If they can’t do that block them out, you don’t need the added time pressure. Your baby will come when they’re ready! It can be difficult (and dangerous) to rush them. Obviously certain situations will call for babies to come out before they’re ready. That’s ok… we’re lucky to have access to wonderful health services here in Australia. If everything is normal however, give it some more time. Your body and babies are very clever. Your body will bring them to you when they’re meant to come. Enjoy the time with your partner/other children before the new baby comes. Everything is about to change… how exciting!

We don’t know exactly what makes a woman labour. There are some different theories, like the pituitary gland releasing oxytocin when the baby is fully developed, however if we knew what caused labour we would all have babies at the ‘perfect’ time. Trust that your body will do the work… you’ve got this!


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