Natural Induction Methods



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Natural Induction Methods
Natural induction is an intervention and like all interventions, it carries risks. It is best to wait until your due date before trying any natural induction, unless your caregiver is insisting on a medical induction that you are hoping to avoid. All natural induction techniques should be discussed with your doctor or midwife. Time is the best natural method to induce. Babies come when they are ready and your body is ready. Use caution if attempting any of these. Always weigh the risks and benefits.
Walk

Staying active and moving your pelvis can help the baby engage and encourage contractions to start or strengthen. Walk along a curb, one foot up on the curb and the other one in the gutter, then turn around and go the other way. Sounds strange but it can really work.


Bumpy Car Ride

The combination of movement and relaxation (someone else should be driving) can help the baby get into the right position for birth. You should have something on the car seat to protect it in case your bag of waters releases.


Relax

Anxiety can delay the onset of labor. Fill the tub with comfortably warm water, turn the lights off, light some candles and play your favorite relaxing music.


Visualization

While you’re relaxing in the tub, imagine your uterus contracting as well as the process of labor and the joy of holding your baby in your arms.


Nipple Stimulation

This is one of the safest forms of induction because it uses the mother’s natural oxytocin. One popular method is to apply warm compresses to your breasts and alternately stimulate each breast manually or using a breast pump for 15 minutes each until contractions begin. Another, gentler method is to get into a tub of comfortably warm water. Soak a dish towel or washcloth in the waters, and drape it over the breasts. Roll one nipple in your fingers, through the towel, for up to 15 minutes, or as long as it takes to make a contraction happen. When the contraction begins, stop the stimulation. After it ends, wait about 5 minutes before stimulating the other nipple, and repeat the process for and hour. Then take a break for 3 or 4 hours, and begin again. This is not as hard on the nipples as using a breast pump, and may work as well or better.


Recipe to Ripen Cervix Naturally:

Take evening Primrose Oil

- 1 cap orally breakfast,

- 1 cap orally lunch,

- 1 inserted vaginally before going to bed
Acupressure

The three main acupressure points for encouraging labor are: the roof of your mouth just behind the ridge behind the teeth: four fingers width about the inner ankle; and between the thumb and forefinger.



Pineapple

If your can tolerate it without getting heartburn, eating lots of pineapple is said to begin labor.


Spicy food

Again, only use this if it won’t give you heartburn.


Cumin Tea

Place one teaspoon of cumin seeds in one cup of boiling water, allowed to steep for 5 minutes, then drink. Do not drink more then one cup per day. Traditionally, a raw cube of potato is added to the tea, but the reasons for this are not known.


Spiced Tea

Make a cup of tea containing cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Drink one small glass every hour for no more than 6 hours. If this does not trigger labor, stop for 24 hours then try one more time. Don’t attempt more than twice.


Sex

Semen applied to the cervix and having an orgasm can both stimulate labor. Swallowing semen also works well, because the prostaglandins are absorbed much more easily and quickly through the stomach. It may be your last chance to have sex for a long time, so you might as well enjoy it.


Natural Prostaglandins

Borage oil, evening primrose oil, flax seed oil, and black current oil are ripen and soften the cervix and increase the flexibility of the pelvic ligaments. You can take the capsules orally or put one or two in the vagina to melt. Use directly on the cervix only if the amniotic sac is still intact. These will only prepare the cervix. But will not start labor. Please note that there are currently some questions as to whether or not orally ingested evening primrose oil has a positive effect on softening your cervix. I encourage you to do your own research.


Swinging

Go to the Local Park or playground and swing on those nice big swings. What a great way to start labor!


Blowing up Balloons

Increases intra-abdominal pressure and can put more pressure on the cervix to move things along, if the baby is already in the optimal position for birth (head down, baby’s back to the left of your bellybutton).


Thigh Massage

Having your partner warm some lotion or oil in the palms, begin massage of the inner thighs working in an oval motion covering the area from the knees to the groin. Be sure to tell your partner when the contractions start so massage can be stopped to prevent overstimulation and contractions that are too strong.


Office Procedures

Laminaria osmotic dilators: In some instances, osmatic dilators can be placed within the cervix. As they accumulate water over time, they swell, causing slow mechanical dilation of the cervix.


Stripping membranes: During a cervical exam, the examiner’s finger bluntly separates the fetal membranes from the uterine wall. This releases the hormones and other chemicals (phospholipases) contained in the space and stimulates contractions. In a study of women at or over 40 weeks of gestations, two –thirds were in labor within 72 hours after this procedure, as opposed to only a third who were examined without membrane stripping.
Hospital Methods
Rupture of membranes/ amniotomy (“breaking the water”): This often works because it releases hormones and phospholipases. Also, without the cushion of the aminiotic fluid, the fetal head rests directly on the cervix, possibly causing reflex uterine contractions.
Foley Bulb: A foley catherer, typically used to drain the bladder, is an inflatable bulb at the tip to hold it in place. For laboe induction, a 30cc bulb is placed in the cervix and inflated. Mechanical stretch can cause reflex uterine contractions and force dilation to about 3 centimeters. In some situations, saline is infused through the catheter, which can help separate the membranes from the uterine wall, releasing hormones and phopholipases.
Note: Not all caregivers use the methods mentioned. Always discuss any complimentary approaches you are considering with your midwife or doctor.


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