Birth

Natural induction

My mother keeps telling me to go for a drive on a bumpy road to bring on my labour since my baby is overdue. Is that a good idea?

The last few days of pregnancy are long and difficult, and the wish to bring the labour on is quite natural. There are things you can do to start the labour, but going for a bumpy ride is not a good idea.

There are some other old wives tales which are no longer considered a good idea. For example taking castor oil often does bring on labour, but if you take a lot the labour may be very fast, and the accompanying diarrhea can make things unpleasant. Herbal teas such as raspberry leaf can also work but should only be taken with qualified supervision because of the strength of the labour that can ensue. Spicy foods are also not a good idea.

So what can I try? If your waters have not broken you could try sex, which may help to soften the cervix. Taking primrose oil has the same effect. Acupuncture has been shown to be effective, but make sure that your practitioner is well qualified. Breast stimulation can bring on contractions by releasing oxytoxin into your system, but doesn’t always work. Studies show that for most women, stimulation for several hours a day on consecutive days is needed in order for breast stimulation to bring on labour. If you are up to it and your doctor has no objections, brisk walking can start the contractions.

See also:
Labour – When to call the doctor
Labour – Back pain during labour
Labour – Birth stages
Labour – Overdue Problems
Labour – Preparation
Labour – Reasons for Inducing
Labour – Ways of Inducing

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*Important : The information provided is for information purposes only. No medical diagnosis or prescription can be inferred or is implied. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

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